Mission #1 from Exploring the MTBoS

Who are you? Introduce yourself to the MathTwitterBlogosphere! How’d you get into teaching? What do you like most about your job?

My name is Diana and I am a middle school math teacher from New Mexico. This is my 27th year of teaching, but I haven’t taught my first year 27 times. Even though I have been teaching a long time, I am still learning how to be a teacher.

As a freshman in college, my first “computer class” was Fortran. I remember creating the stack of punch cards that was my assignment, carrying them carefully to the computer building – yes the whole building was one computer! One time I dropped the cards and after hours of trying to sort them and many tears, I finally just started over. For my 50th birthday (only a few days away) I got a Macbook Air. This amazing piece of tech on my lap is way more powerful than that computer that occupied a whole building. In fact, so is my phone 🙂

I became a math teacher because as a student, math was the only thing that did NOT come easy to me. Math was always a challenging and I struggled to understand. I drove my teachers crazy asking, “Why?” all the time. I am a strong spatial reasoner, but numbers were definitely not second nature.

What I like most about my job is helping kids know more math today than they knew yesterday! When I started teaching math – way back when – a good math teacher was a good “explain-er.” I worked hard figuring out multiple ways to explain MY thinking. I encouraged my students to ask “Why?” and relished taking time to explain. Now, my job is so much more. I still have to be at explanations. I also teach my students to explain their own reasoning. I teach them to create logical arguments to support their reasoning and to respectfully critique the reasoning of others. I also have to help my students become wise consumers of the explosion of data that bombards them every day.

Well, that is plenty for my very first blog post ever! I was worried I couldn’t write a whole paragraph, and now I have a whole page 🙂