Lately I’ve had math on the brain. I dream about math. When I go for a walk, I plan math. When I’m in the garden, my mind turns to math. I’m reading math blogs and scouring Pinterest for math ideas. Math, math, math. Specifically, algebra. At the age of 56 I am teaching algebra for the very first time. It is both exciting and terrifying.
My students are the ones who have a
hatred very strong dislike of math, who have struggled with it for years. So I want to make it fun and accessible. I’m not using a textbook, although a teacher in a neighboring district has given me her syllabus, notes, and worksheets. I’m finding those to be quite helpful. But I want more for these kids than worksheets.
Education has fads just like every other area in life. The current “fad” is interactive notebooks. The kids will use these to create their own textbooks. They copy down my notes on the right side. (Right is always right.) They do practice problems on the left. And sometimes they will look just like that. But mostly I’m looking for and creating “fold-ables.” Think scrapbooking with cutting and glueing and bright colors meets math. Fun! I hope.
I’m really excited about it. And scared. Quite scared. This whole process is very time-intensive for the teacher….me. Once school starts, time speeds up and it’s Christmas before I have even adjusted to September. So, I’m trying to get a head start. After a lot of false starts, I think I am making progress. I’m up to Day 2. It’s taken me hours to get this far. Hours. And that’s just the notebook. It doesn’t include the videos I want to use or the hands-on activities to go with each lesson.
But it’s summer, and I want to do summer stuff. So, I’m trying to balance math and summer. Some days summer wins. Some days math wins. Today writing this blog won.
I’m trying to look at this as an opportunity to trust God. I’m trying to make this my thought process: God called me to this job. God put a love of teaching math into my heart. God gave me this opportunity. God is showing me a step at a time what to do. God will continue to help me along the way. He wants my students to succeed even more than I do. So, go God!!