Be the Student

I’m halfway through the summer semester at Georgia State. Since you can’t see me, you’ll have to imagine the happy dance I’m doing now! Algebra Tiles for Positive/Negative Problems

Having never taken education classes before, this whole classes-about-teaching thing is new to me. For example, in my mathematical proofs class the professor gets on our case if we don’t talk our way through problems we work at the board — after all, as teachers we’ll be expected to talk as we work out problems at the board. Other classes are using techniques the profs hope we use on our students, too. My special ed class used jigsawing last week and concept mapping today.

All this being the student is hard!

I’ve come up with a few ideas based on being the student:

  • Give students access to assignments before they’re assigned. A calendar, handout, or detailed list would all work. The idea is for the students to know what’s coming and manage their time accordingly.
  • Be consistent in how assignments are to be turned in, graded, and returned. Several of my classes do electronic-only submissions, which won’t work as well in a math or physics classroom for me, but I appreciate always knowing the assignment schedule and method of submission. I think I’ll get an inbox for fall.
  • Once the assignment schedule is published, allow for some negotiation with the students. They should probably bring it up, but be prepared to alter dates to everyone’s convenience.
  • Use warm-ups in math classes. D’oh, I can’t believe I didn’t make regular use of these in teaching pre-algebra last year!

I’m showing I can Be the Student. Let’s see how well I can Be the Teacher come fall!

Georgia State, Here I Come (on MARTA)!

It’s official — I’m a graduate student seeking a Masters of Arts in Teaching Secondary Mathematics. This week, I registered at Georgia State for the Spring semester and plotted the next 15-odd months of my education.

My courses:

  • EPSF7120, The Psychology of Learning and Learners
  • MATH6371, Modern Geometry
  • MATH6441, Modern Algebra

My goal, since starting teaching, has been to get certified. If school goes as planned, I’ll be holding a Masters-level certificate for the state of Georgia in May 2009!

Georgia State is located in downtown Atlanta and I live in the northern suburbs. Atlanta traffic is horrible, so getting downtown for night classes could have been a challenge. Fortunately, I live and work about a mile from access to MARTA, our transit system. I’m taking James up on his challenge to reduce the number of cars on Atlanta’s roads. I’ll be riding MARTA to school, as I did this week to my advisement meeting (when I snapped this photo).

Image: MARTA Train at Night Originally uploaded by mgolding