Please remember; even if your child comes to school every school day this year he will still be out of school more days than he will be in school.
> that mathematics is the sport of the mind, and that just as with any sport the more effort you expend in practice the more likely you will excel on game day (Mastery is a function of effort.)
> that to play the game you first have to show up
> that teaching is like affection, if the person who is the object of your teaching/affection is unwilling to accept what you offer your efforts will be fruitless
> that I can be a math learning facilitator, or math coach, but I can't teach anyone who is determined to avoid learning (You can lead a kid to knowledge, but you can't make him think.)
> that you can't learn how to pull the wagon by riding on it
> that learning can take place with an ineffective teacher, but learning cannot take place in a student with a poor attitude, or poor work habits (Just as in any sport success is contingent upon effort more than talent.)
> that the key to a good education is more in learning how to learn than learning what to learn
> that every student is capable of mastering all of the fundamentals of arithmetic, algebra, and geometry, and that basic skills must be mastered first
> that every college bound student needs four years of math in high school regardless of what level he begins with in 9th grade
> that my responsibility is to provide a safe, secure learning environment that challenges every student, and that offers the maximum number of opportunities for every student to experience success every day; to present in a variety of ways all the information that students need to know; to provide a reasonable number of fair evaluations; to communicate with parents when their child is living up to his responsibilities, as well as when he isn't; and, because most problems in life don't come with an instruction manual, to work towards helping students become independent problem solvers
> that the greatest assets a person who wants to get into the game of algebra can have are: stamina, perseverance, tenacity, a commitment to excellence, basic skills, and a desire to learn. (Isn't it interesting that the sport of the mind has the same requirements for excellence as other, less cerebral, more physical endeavors?)
In order to fulfill my
> will be prepared to teach an effective and useful lesson every day
> will treat all students fairly, equally, with dignity, and without abuse
> will work closely with parents to ensure students succeed
> will continually grow in my profession
> will encourage participation by all students
> will challenge every student
> will affirm and nurture all students
> are responsible for coming to class every day
> are responsible for bringing appropriate materials, and completed assignments to class
> are responsible for coming to class prepared to learn
> are responsible for their own learning
> are responsible for their own behavior
> are responsible for your child's attitudes about school, teachers, and education
> are responsible for insuring that your child is prepared to learn
> are responsible for getting your child to school every day
> are responsible for ensuring that your child knows that you expect him to do his best in school every day
> are responsible for providing, daily, a time and place for your child to complete his homework
> are responsible for balancing your child's school responsibilities with his extra curricular activities during the school year
If you and your child accept your responsibilities as I have accepted mine this will be an extremely successful and productive year for all.
I attribute most of whatever teaching skills I might have to my friend and mentor, John Veltman. He taught me more about mathematics, kids, teaching, and what it means to be a part of a team than any other person in my life. Any student I am able to touch has also been touched by this special person. Thanks John!
Others who have influenced me, as a teacher, are Paul Foerster (even before I met him) all of my past students (each one of whom has had some influence on making me the teacher that I am) Betty Travis, David Molina, and LuAnn Weynand and all the other great math teachers from North East who I had the pleasure of working with in the after school workshops at Central Office.
I attribute my work ethic, ethics, and integrity to my best friend, Al Smith (deceased).
Please click the following link for more about my math teaching philosophy: Math teaching.
Evolution of Teaching General Information