I survived my first day of spring semester! Actually, I did more than survive–I had a good day today. I was nervous and excited to meet new students. I’m thrilled about getting to teach Algebra 2 and the group of students that I have for that class seems mature, fun and cooperative.
Today I spent each class period going over expectations and myths about mathematics. I also asked students to write out answers to a few survey questions. For example, I asked students about their goals from last semester and whether they had met them. I was pleasantly surprised by how many thoughtful responses I got–many were candid and admitted that they did not reach their goals because they gave up too soon or didn’t put in the necessary effort.
I also asked students, “What were some things that your math teacher did last semester that helped you learn math?” Some of the students had other teachers, others were in my classes. It was tremendously encouraging to read that students noticed some of the things that I was doing for them that helped them learn. Students appreciated that we take breaks during class, that I use the projector a lot to show things either on the computer or using the document camera, that I try to mix things up in class (working independently vs working in groups; doing work with pencil and paper vs doing things with manipulatives or other materials).
My workload will go up a bit. I still have three “preps” but it will take me more time to prepare for Algebra 2 than it did to prepare for the the intervention math lab.