My decision to become a teacher was a late-in-life decision. I did not start college until I was forty years old. There are two reasons I did not go when I was younger: 1) I was a homeless teenager and in survival mode, so college was very far off of my radar; 2) As I got older, I was afraid of math. When I started college, I discovered I was really good at math and knew immediately that I should be teaching an 8th grade math class. I believe that if a teacher would have helped me discover a love of math before high school, I would have had college on my radar, regardless of having a home or not.
What is your key to success in the classroom?
My students say that I am a successful teacher because I am relatable, but mostly because I am entertaining. I dance when teaching transformations; I sing when teaching Pythagorean Theorem; I have a funny story when I teach functions. I also include my students in the teaching process by asking their opinions and by encouraging them to teach each other.
How do you engage students?
I am able to engage my students because I treat them with respect and I value their opinions. Again, I am also a successful teacher because I engage my students by dancing when I teach transformations; singing when I teach Pythagorean Theorem, and because I have a funny story to tell when teaching functions. Life should be full of joy and that includes every moment my students and I are in the classroom.
What do you love about teaching?
I love that moment when a student realizes their own greatness. There is nothing like it in the world! That is why I teach.