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  • Kelli Fisher

    May 18, 2020 at 12:14 am

    I became a Middle School Math teacher because I had experiences with doubt of my abilities with mathematics when I took Algebra in 8th grade. I realize as I became an adult that my lack of understanding was not due to intelligence but rather my need to learn differently than my teacher expected. Teachers had a different method of teaching back then and my goal was to make sure students had the time to understand and really learn.

    As I became a middle school teacher, I have spent the last 6 years working with students who need intervention. I have attempted to use Growth Mindset Concepts within the curriculum of my classroom to build trust, use number talks, and help encourage my students to build their confidence in learning mathematics knowing that if they believe in themselves, work hard, struggle, ask questions, and persevere, they will improve their ability in mathematics.

    It is nice to take a course that takes this prior knowledge and expands it into a way to enhance it further than I have been able to go. Having data and research to back up my new approaches to teaching really helps staff understand my ways of teaching.

    You can teach an old dog new tricks as my first classroom was over 20 years ago and I was definitely the traditional teacher who followed the basics we all learned to do in college with teaching students.

    There were some methods I used back in the late 90s that I realize was the introduction of what I have learned in these last 5-6 years of motivating students with sparking curiosity, getting students to talk about their thinking, discourse with other students, so that they can all deepen their understanding of the content.

    I have a passion for helping students who don’t like math because I don’t demean them for their foundation gaps and lack of knowledge. I build trust and respect which has been validated as an important part of helping students learn in the classroom.

    Thank you for your caring, passion, and sharing of knowledge to others. It helps take all the research and books I have read and pull much of it together into this new concept that I hope I will be able to try out in the fall with my students. Learning how to do some of this online will be a new an interesting trial as with other new things I Have learned along the way. I have learned through my years, as you validated in your course, that as I share my new learning with students and want to try new things and get their opinion, it lets them understand why teaching changes, why they are asked to be more involved and how all of this enhances and improves their learning overall.

    Thank you again. Please stay safe with you and your family during this time !

    Kelli Fisher