Hello and welcome to Math with Meaning. My intention is for this space to provide me with an opportunity to reflect on my teaching, share my successes and failures and keep a record of my growth as an elementary math teacher (other subjects may appear from time to time). Over time, I hope this also becomes a space to share resources with others who are working on their own math instruction.
I am an elementary generalist teacher in Central British Columbia, Canada. Currently, I am working in two roles with my district. For one day each week, I work as a Math Liaison teacher, where I try to support other teachers in moving their math instruction forward as best as I can. For another 2.5 days, I am a Curriculum Coach for intermediate grades – supporting teachers through their transition to our new BC curriculum.
I have always enjoyed math – as a student, it came naturally to me to solve problems and work with numbers. Because I have a good memory, I was able to get through math with relative ease until I hit University-level math courses (in engineering – my first attempt at choosing a career path). It was at this point that my memorizing was no longer enough and I had a brief glimpse into what it was like to approach math with the goal of actually (gasp!) understanding why I was doing what I was doing.
Fast-forward a decade to the start of my teaching career – as a new teacher I found myself frustrated by my lack of success in trying to teach my students in the way I was taught – with a procedural approach. It was inadequate for most of my students, but I really had no idea what to do to change it, and I was so overwhelmed by the demands of teaching in an inner city school that my interest in exploring alternatives was never given the time it needed.
Here I am another decade later and I find myself with some professional time to explore this subject that interests me – how can I help my students to be more successful with math? How can I help other teachers to embrace the idea that math can (and should) be engaging, challenging and rewarding for students?
Thank-you for joining me on this exploration of math practice! I hope you will join me in your own classroom by thinking about how you can make math meaningful for your students as well. Practice makes progress – for teachers as well as students!