“What do you do out there?”
“I am a teacher, a math teacher.”
**wide eyed shock**
“OH WOW! Really? What grade do you teach?”
“I teach high school mathematics.”
**picking jaw off the floor**
“WOW! Well that is…..good??? How are the kids out there? How do you like it?”
And that is basically the way every conversation starts when people ask me about my job. Did I think I was going to be a teacher when I graduated from high school? HELL NO! To endure what I put my teachers through when I was in school hehehe! There was NO WAY I was going to be a teacher.
Then I got to college and SURPRISE SURPRISE what I thought I wanted to be since the 5th grade was not all it cracked up to be. Most people THINK they know what they want to do but the truth is at that age you HAVE NO IDEA!
Then I chose mathematics teacher because I have always been good in math (I followed my teachers directions well). I wasn’t totally sold on the idea when I started taking my lower division Linear Algebra class at my junior college. I did it, jumped through the hoops and finally got into the college of my DREAMS……….
University of California San Diego
Trimesters went by, upper division math classes were tackled, some I loved (Number Theory), some I hated (Differential Equations) but as all this was happening I was swimming in a sea of math lovers. They loved math for its beauty, its difficulty, its straight up “mathyness” and within this sea of lovers I came to find out that I. LOVE. MATH. Wow! Did I just say that? (my first thought when I first heard myself say that out loud). YES I DID! And dab nabbit am I proud to say that I. LOVE. MATH! I AM A MATH NERD! (hence my blog title).
My senior year in college I got to start taking my TEP classes (teacher education program). If you are not familiar with UCSD’s program check it out it is different than some other programs I have been a part of. We took teacher ed classes, we got to student teach our senior year (this is the prep work to get you ready for their EDS M.Ed./Single Subject (secondary) program). It was pretty cool. I got paired with an interesting mentor teacher, I got to tutor in an AVID classroom, I got to observe a friend of mine who taught at a school 20 mins from the border. All together I was learning about teaching and I was somewhat sure that I wanted to do this (going with the flow).
Graduation time came upon me quick and I was so home sick that I was ready to go home no matter what it took. My teachers at UCSD were waiting for me to apply to their program. They even pulled me aside after the deadline and asked me if I was REALLY sure I didn’t want to be a part of their program. Long story short…I went home (not a good idea based on teacher program options) but I finally got my teaching credential (after much jumping through hoops).
Now that I started my 8th year of teaching I realize this is what I want to be when I grow up….” A MATH TEACHER” There is not another job in this world that I can see myself doing. Every day I wake up and get ready to go to school because I know I have students to “torture” with math. <–that is a joke people! Students are my motivation….NO STUDENTS=NO SADIE
There are not many people that can say they LOVE what they do. That they are excited to get up in the morning to get to work. That they will get paid half time but work full time (yup that is me). Yes I have those bad days (who doesn’t) but all the good days outweigh them. I have students arguing about math for 50 mins in a class period (it happened again today, wish I could have recorded it). I have students JUMPING out of their chairs to answer questions. I have students who aren’t running out the door when the bell rang but instead didn’t even hear the bell ring. I have students that grumble about math so much that they have me in tears over the conversations taking place. There are no words to describe the joy and happiness that I get out of teaching my students (even the naughtiest ones). I don’t know how I got to this point but I do hope that I continue to learn how to keep up the successfulness of students at this level or beyond. I hope to not get worn out by the constant bureaucratic bologna (Oscar Meyer brand) that continues to happen at the state and federal levels. I hope one day that the answer to the last questions in my conversation that I opened with “How are the kids out there? How do you like it?” changes from “I. LOVE. IT! The kids are FANTASTIC its the adults above me (my DOE) that I am not sure about” to “I. LOVE. IT! The entire system is working great…kids are feeling successful and the DOE is making the right decisions to support their successes”.
This is what I want to be when I grow up…..”A MATH TEACHER” and most of you might not be able to relate to that but I just hope that your child’s teacher does because when students feel successful in school they want to come to school, they want to be in the class, they want to learn and be a part of their classroom environment. These are the students I strive to produce and I am proud to say that no matter how my government (state or federal) decides to treat me with salary, teacher accountability ideas or curriculum ideas that non-teachers create I am still sure that being a math teacher is the best job on this planet. I. LOVE. MY. JOB