Saturday, September 12, 2009

Waiting with a Passion

First Passion flower
Originally uploaded by Hornplayer

Many of my friends are teaching their first classes in their own classrooms now. A new math teacher friend in Denmark comes regularly to FaceBook to tell how much she's enjoying her classes, including baking brownies for fellow teachers and playing a student/teacher soccer game (students won, my friend was very sore the next day!)

And I am applying for jobs, and reading and writing homework assignments, most vigorously my blog Negotiated Identity, about helping ELL students negotiate their identity in this new confusing world while trying to get them up to speed in math as well. The research and personal reflection I've done for the blog (as well as the required book) have been very inspiring. I just wish I had students to try everything out with!

I was asked at an interview recently what my passion is. I immediately said "The Environment" and left it at that. The Environment has been my passion for so long (witness my blog Sustainable Rays), so that was an understandable automatic answer.

But I know that this past year has brought me through months of fun studying math, and inspiring classes at CGU as well as preteaching at summer school, getting to work with real students.

I think the best thing that happened all summer was when a student told me "I used to hate math, but now I'm kinda sorta beginning to like it." I think that inspired my new passion.

I want to inspire other kids with my love of math; inspire them to use the thinking, logic and problem-solving skills of math to gain the personal power to discover and achieve their potential, whatever that may be.

Since I have taught English Learners before (in Denmark) and I have been a second language learner myself, my particular passion is to help ELL students become productive and creative members of their new communities and country.

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