What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.
Abraham Maslow

Math can serve as a major barrier for students achieving a degree; thus, sensitive, patient instructors are of great value. I strive to create in my classroom an environment that encourages each student to succeed and in which students can feel safe to ask questions, and to make and correct mistakes. My work with students with behavioral and emotional disorders and students with learning disabilities has made me even more aware of the struggle that some students have for the subject, their "math phobia" and the gaps in their math background. I've seen firsthand the effect that having high expectations and clearly defined individualized objectives for each student, coupled with caring and support can have on our students, and I strive to hold my students to high educational standards while communicating the belief that they can succeed in math and in school.

I consider my passion for teaching math, especially those courses which traditionally have the least-experienced students, one of my strengths, and my enthusiasm for the subject shows in my classroom presence and in my interactions one-on-one with my students. I derive by far the greatest satisfaction from helping students increase their self-confidence and ability in math problem-solving, and to that end, I strive to utilize a variety of teaching techniques in my classroom. I enjoy making my classes interactive with the use of collaborative groups, peer tutoring, and learning aids. To engage my students' multiple intelligences, I make frequent use of manipulatives, such as fraction bars, dice and spinners while studying probabilities and I encourage my students to do web research on math topics. Students may play math games to build their multiplication skills, use online flashcards for review, and they may make three dimensional polyhedra and other "art projects" while studying geometry. I have had many positive comments from students about the atmosphere of my classes.

In addition to encouraging my students to succeed in math, I strive to teach my students that they are self empowered individuals. To this end, I build a relationship with my students by taking the time to engage in personal conversations with them. I ask them, "how are you?" and then I listen to their response. This summer, as part of a master teachers' seminar, I viewed a seminar by Dr. Sue Mosolf on "Motivating and Managing Student Behavior" which has inspired me to change the verbiage that I use when giving student encouragement or feedback. Dr. Mosolf states that today's young people are not motivated by pleasing adults in the way they used to be in past generations; so when she is giving student feedback or encouragement, she uses "you" statements rather than "I" statements. As a result, where I used to say "I'm proud of you for getting so much work done in your math this week", I'll now say, "You should be proud of yourself for doing such good work in your math this week." Dr. Mosolf also states that students will become self motivated when they believe that they are valuable people, and as teachers, we may be the only person that gives the student that message all day long. She reminds us that it only takes one teacher to make a difference in someone's life and paraphrases, from Maslow, "it only takes one experience that is defining to change our definition of ourselves." Recently, three of my high school students were "hanging out" at my desk during break, and one of them told me, "Ms. Fernandez, we like you because you listen." That statement felt as indicative of my success with these students as when they master a new math concept.

Because I care about the success of my students, even after many years in the classroom, I continue to participate in professional development, to look for ways in which I may better engage my students, and I am not afraid to try new teaching techniques. My passion for learning shows and I hope to inspire my students to themselves be lifelong learners.  


This free website was made using Yola.

No HTML skills required. Build your website in minutes.

Go to www.yola.com and sign up today!

Make a free website with Yola