New Member: Jamie Ballard from Kansas
My background in the classroom starts in Colorado in a traditional school with both AP and IB curriculum. We had a lot of autonomy in the classroom – this is where I fell in love with curriculum development. Then I moved north of Denver and started teaching at a school where we had set integrated curriculum and I lost that autonomy, but learned so much about integrated math, effective PLCs and working together benefits students more than going rogue. I am now teaching back in my home state, Kansas.
My current struggle is how to uphold my belief that teachers need to be on the same page and not conforming to the I Do, We Do, You Do approach of instruction. Some teachers at this school do “investigations,” but they are teacher led. It is a fight to ask for more time on the calendar to let my students have that productive struggle time. Additionally, those assessments are one and done. Super frustrating!
I have taught all levels from Algebra 1 (Math 1) to Calculus BC during my 15 years in the classroom. Next year, I have a new challenge: Pre-Algebra. I am also teaching Honors Algebra 2 again.
I am drawing a blank when it comes to cool stories! Although, we just moved to this small town and I am having many new experiences living in the country. I love going to the farm store to chat it up with some of the old folk that work there. They have some funny stories. One guy was telling me about how he catches snakes that keep eating his chicken eggs. He puts one egg on the outside of his chain link fence and one on the inside. Snake eats the one on the outside, slides partially through, and eats the one on the inside. It is then stuck! Pretty clever thinking 🙂 We have our fair share of snakes, we have chickens, a mother goose laying on eggs at the pond. Country livin’ is the life for me!
I am seeking a community that shares in similar pedagogical thinking. Resources that will spark my own curiosity and passion again for education. I actually left teaching for about 3 years, because honestly, I was bored. The challenge was gone for some reason. I do not want to fall back into procedural ways of teaching concepts. I want to inspire students to see mathematics as both beautiful and useful in their lives.
Looking forward to all the resources and learning from you all!
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