# Teaching Qualities

Currently trying to list the 10 most important traits/characteristics of a good teacher for an assignment.

What do you think the most important trait for a teacher to have is?

# I NEED HELP WITH MATH?!?!

Hey…

Your not alone. If you are having a hard time understanding a concept or problem. Shoot me an example and I can try to diagram it out the best I can using my livescribe pen. Please check out our local to Maryland math tutoring company, D.S. Solutions and D.S. Solutions’ Mathcasts Website!

—Robert H. Lewis

# "Fun"

I’ve had trouble lesson planning this week.  I was on February break, so I was trying to spend most of it working on lessons and catching up with school things. I feel like I honestly did work on the things I was supposed to for large amounts of times.

But I look back at some of the stuff I’ve planned so far, and I hate it.  It’s boring, uninteresting, disengaging… and I find myself asking myself, “Why the hell do kids need to learn this?”  Not because it isn’t important, but because there’s not enough investigation, discovery, and context to make it important to them.  Yes, they can tell me the shape, center, and spread of a distribution… but why does that matter to them?

I don’t want the kids in my class to be bored, to see math as a pointless smattering of memorized procedures and set conclusions.  And right now, with how my lessons are, that’s how I feel about it… I feel like it’s partly me and partly the constraints I discussed previously.

Back to the drawing board?  This is very difficult as a student teacher.  I feel like I don’t have the freedom to do what I want, but then again, I don’t know if doing what I want would work anyway.

# Hey Mr. M, I know the D=RatexTime formula, but it's been a long time since I've used it so I'm not sure how to complete the problem where I have to find out how long it would take to travel 10.8 miles at 45 miles per hour. Advice? Suggestions? Help?! Thanks so much in advance!! :D

No Problem! Since D = 10.8 and R = 45mph Just plug them into our formula. 10.8 = 45*t. To isolate your variable t you will need to divide by 45 on both sides. 10.8/45 = .24 hours. If you need more clarification just ask!

# Teacher Dare Day: How do you handle having a diverse spectrum of student achivement in one class?

I specifically have high school mathematics in mind, but this can apply to any K-12 classroom.

How do you “bring up” the lower-achieving students without making the bright kids suffer? Is teaching to the middle really the best option we have as educators? But why should the bright ones suffer when separate honors/AP options are not available?

# Learning, Very Slowly

Get Those Lesson Plans Done

As silly as it sounds, yes, you need to get those lesson plans done. It is so much easier to plan a trip when you know exactly where you are going. So far this year I have done them three different ways: a day ahead of time, a couple weeks ahead of time, and in an effort to “reteach”. Trust me, a day ahead is a BIG mistake. Warning: Use only when you are dog tired and know there is no major test coming up. It’s okay to slip sometimes, but try not to make it a habit. What I do now is make a road map, write the tests/quizzes/study guides, and THEN plan my lessons. I’m not teaching to “a” test, I’m teaching to “my” test. BIG difference between the two. Just think about it.

Every Day is a New Day to a Teenager

Maybe not with their peers, but every day is different. Each day a student walks into your class, they have already forgotten about yesterday (both what they learned and how they/you acted). Don’t ever take their attitudes personally, especially in the last period of the day! You’re dealing with the night before, the morning of, lunch, and all the other classes. If they are in crappy moods, it is most definitely NOT your fault. It hurts, sometimes, the way they act. A lot, actually, especially when all you do is say, “Hi!” But just remember that YOUR class is special to them in one way or another, be it just another subject, you, or the fact that to them it is the last class of the day before they can finally leave hell.

Control Your Anger, Annoyance, and Aggression.

I, in particular, have a really bad habit of wearing my emotions on my sleeve. I’m an open book, not an open mouth. I may not say what is bothering me, but every crease in my forehead, squint in my eyes, and inflection in my voice explains my mood like a singing portrait. DON’T let them know, even if they can see. And frankly, do your damn best not to let one student ruin it for the whole class. Another bad habit I have is taking out my annoyance from one a-hole and releasing it on another student who just disappointed me. I have lots of a-holes and few disappointments, but they feel the bulk of the negativity. Disappointment comes when those kids who work hard and do well have an off day. When they talk a little too much, play around a little too hard, or do nothing altogether. Poor things, this is my sincerest apology :(

There is No Such Thing as a Bad Day

Listen to Nat King Cole’s or Michael Jackson’s version of “Smile” and that will explain it all. Don’t ever underestimate the power your personality or emotions can have on the little darlings.

Don’t Stop Learning

I learn something new every day from my little darlings. Rumors at school, problems at home, frustrations with friends. All you really have to do is listen. Girls, no matter how tough they try to be, are as fragile as snowflakes on a windshield. Boys, no matter how autonomous they think they are, will always compete for your attention. Children, no matter how much they feign “awesomeness”, only want someone to be proud of them. So tell a girl you’re happy to see her today; laugh at a boy’s stupid joke; let them know how proud you are that they actually completed the warm-up today.

Teaching is such a humbling profession. I’ve learned how smart and stubborn I am; I’ve learned the lack of importance my pride really has; I’ve learned that every word I say is being listened to, every move I make is being watched, and every decision I carry out is being taken to heart. To teach is to give hope. To teach is to make an impression. To teach is to remind yourself that you are NO better than anyone else. To teach is to live for everyone else but yourself. And finally, to teach is my greatest pride, weakness, and accomplishment in life so far.