To be completely honest, I do not remember a great deal of my elementary education; although I do recall not enjoying math to well simply because I did not understand it. I recall doing worksheets and homework for memorization purposes however, I did not end up memorizing just finishing the work on time. One technique that one teacher taught me is the acronym BEDMAS, as we spent a great deal of time learning division and repeated it constantly. The teacher seemed to be very adamant on all the students understanding the concept and engrained it in our brains. Perhaps if the teacher felt so strongly with all the subjects, the students would understand and enjoy the topics. Consequently, I had trouble admitting that I did not fully grasp concepts and felt uncomfortable asking for help or clarification. Perhaps this was due to a social acceptance among peers and the pressure to pass. I believe children go to long lengths to look ‘cool’ in front of their peers and will do what is necessary to achieve that appearance. Alike most of the students in the classroom, I struggled with a need to be right so that I was not embarrassed. Still to this day, I have trouble with multiplication because I was never constructively ‘forced’ to understand nor grasped the basic operations/concepts in helpful manner.
In regards to the teacher’s influence, I remember being subject to both male and female teachers for math but science was mostly taught by male teachers. Math was usually taught by the ‘homeroom’ teacher who also taught language and social studies. There were certain classes where we left homeroom for another teacher – one of them being science. I do remember lab tests and biology group work that had interesting techniques to bring out the fun in science. Perhaps this was due to the sex of the teacher or maybe his or her love for the subject.
From my own experiences, I understand that I need more education in basic skills in order to cater to my student’s needs and teach to all the varying developmental levels. I want to rid myself of anxious feelings that I have towards certain subjects and re-learn simple hands-on methods in order to enjoy the subjects. I want to teach the students HOW to do their multiplication tables not to just simply memorize, as well as WHY science is so important to our lives. My ultimate goal is to teach how FUN these subjects can be through the use of hands-on examples and motivators that will engage the students. Ultimately, I plan to utilize the subject material in order to promote useful and interesting outcomes that foster a love of learning.
What I hope to learn from this course is how to create an understanding of math and science for all the students without forcing them, embarrassing them or singling them out.
While I’m on the topic of math and science, be sure to check out the article:
“Are Teachers to Blame for Low Math Scores?” – by Sarah Michaelis (Thurs, Jan 9, 2014)