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Make Math Moments Academy Forums Community Discussion Introduce Yourself Arif Ali, 8th Grade Math Teacher, Atlanta, Georgia

  • Arif Ali, 8th Grade Math Teacher, Atlanta, Georgia

    Posted by Arif Ali on December 8, 2019 at 9:14 am

    After working as an Electrical Engineer for 14 years and then working in technology sales for another 19 years, I started teaching math in 2016. I spent the first 3 years teaching Coordinate Algebra (which includes components of PreAlgebra and Algebra I) at the High School level. This year I am working as an 8th Grade Math Teacher at Fulton Leadership Academy Charter School in East Point, Georgia.

    I did not begin a teacher certification program until August of 2019, so I am in the midst of a 1-year certification course right now after which I will have my permanent credential.

    My primary objective for all my studies right now is to understand and master classroom management. It’s also the objective I am least well prepared to tackle. This may sound strange to many people: not having had a lot of structure in my early life, I only have a dictionary understanding of “structure” or “consistency” as they apply to behavior management. So the area of classroom management is a complete mystery to me even after three and a half years of teaching. As I write this, it occurs to me that I am actually a serial rule breaker, so there is a lot of gray area for me as to what a “rule” actually is. This would be hilarious and fun, until you realize that I’m working as an adult in front of 70 young people everyday. This is actually a very serious area of interest for me.

    After classroom/behavior management, I am very interested in many other aspects of teaching math, specifically: using data, and my observations of student’s learning dispositions, to differentiate instruction; creating engaging lessons; building numeracy and confidence; fostering collaboration and a team environment;  and generally tying math to real life in both mundane (daily finances) as well as more complex scenarios (business-related and scientific, for example).

    I look forward to learning and sharing with all of you.

    Arif Ali replied 2 years, 10 months ago 2 Members · 2 Replies
  • 2 Replies
  • Kyle Pearce

    December 9, 2019 at 7:20 pm

    Hi @Arif-Ali! Welcome to the Academy. So glad to have you here and as a part of the community of educators after working a long while in other industries!
    Classroom management is no easy task for ANYONE, so it is great to hear that you’ve identified it as a problem of practice you’d like to work on. 

    If you had to articulate a specific area of classroom management to start on, what would that be?

    • Arif Ali

      January 13, 2020 at 7:26 am

      I’m back! And I think I’m going to focus right now on my own organization.  It seems that the more organized I am, the fewer issues I have with classroom management.  I may seek more guidance on that topic in the future though!