Math Teacher Stuff

2016 - Present
           I continue to be a SAHM. I get asked sometimes when/if I'll return. The answer is...Idk??? ;)  Maybe I'll try something totally different?  We'll just have to wait & see what the future brings! 

            Guess who has two thumbs and no longer teaches middle school math??? THIS GAL!!!  Officially joined the ranks of the SAHM's this year! This is definitely where I supposed to be right now! No regrets! Lovin' it!! :) 

            Looking back on my message from below "2013-2015" is funny…because it actually happened!!  From a teacher's standpoint the timing couldn't have been more perfect. We traveled to pick up our Chinese son in June/July….although waiting 8 months from referral to travel was hard. And I was pregnant! Yowza!!  Definitely would NOT recommend adopting/traveling while pregnant! It was challenging, but worth it! This year I'm on adoption leave AND maternity leave. I have until May to decide whether to make this permanent or not… Hmmmm…. I do miss my students…looping with them (having the same kids 3 years in a row 6-8 gd) gets me pretty attached.  BUT the idea of leaving my kids is NOT appealing. I keep going back-and-forth!! 

2013 - 2014
            I'm teaching all honors classes again - 6th, 7th, & 8th grade.  I was actually a little sad to see my last 8th grade class leave. They were a very talented & entertaining group. And I'm so proud of them - they all passed the ECA!!  (End of Course Assessment)  I know they'll do well at the high school.
            I have my oldest son, B, in class again this year. It's hard to think of him, or any of his peers, as 8th graders! How did that happen??  It will go fast, as every year does, & before I know it, he'll be in high school! NOOOOOOOOOO!  ;) 
            I like teaching B & don't want to leave him, so I'll be patient as far as our adoptions are concerned this year.  But NEXT YEAR, I'm hoping for a referral for our Chinese special needs adoption & maternity leave!!  Fingers-crossed!! :)

2012 - 2013
            This year my schedule changed. For several years I've taught all 8th grade math - a little bit of everything -regular ed classes, English learners, inclusion kids, and advanced Algebra I. But at the end of last year my principal came and told me this year I'd be teaching 6th, 7th, & 8th grade, but only advanced kids.  Pretty sweet deal!! 
            And here's more good news: 
Math money, math money, it's my year for math money!! Yaaaaay me!!  :)  I don't know how other schools distribute their department money, but where I work it rotates among 5 math teachers. Each year two of us split it, which means I get $156!! Woot! Woot!!  Now, I know that's not a lot compared to other departments (language arts, science, social studies, art, ect... )   In fact, when I compared us, we were the 2nd lowest! Even gym gets more $$ than math! WTH?!?  BUT, I'm happy with what I can get!
            Sooooooooo, now what to spend it on??  I've already checked all my staples & I'm good on protractors, compasses, rulers, calculators, pencils, & erasers. I think I may try to find some Common Core resources.  For the non-teachers out there: Most states have adopted Common Core standards, so that means we'll all be teaching & testing over the same things regardless of what state we live in. Now, I'm definitely NOT a fan of all the OVER-TESTING our kids have to suffer through, but if we have to do it, I want them to be prepared.  So, practice assessments may be a good idea. 
             Prepping the kids for testing is something that I do a lot of & feel fairly confident about. In fact, in Algebra I all the kids have to take an End-of-Course Assessment (ECA) & if they don't pass it, they automatically have to re-take Algebra I during their freshman year of high school!!  YIKES!!Talk about PRESSURE!!  Thankfully, our results have been good! : ) Prepping for ISTEP (or whatever they're going to call it when we completely switch over to Common Core) is a little less pressure on the kids (if they don't pass it, they can still move on to the next grade) but not for the teachers!!  Seriously, math & English/language arts (E/LA) teacher get the hammer!!  And to be perfectly honest, sometimes it makes me a little resentful of the teachers of other subjects...
It's always the math & E/LA teachers who have to meet during the school year & during the summer to work on curriculum, create new tests to monitor the students' progress, work on new ideas for getting those scores up, etc. 
           Why is it sooooo important that the kids do well?? Well, one reason is because if they don't it makes our school look bad. Here in Indiana if one sub-group (special ed, English language learners, free/reduced lunch kids, ...) doesn't pass than the school receives an F!  Boooooo!! Also, if our current state superintendent gets his way, our pay will be linked to the students' performance.  I don't know how that will work for those teachers that don't teach a tested subject (art, gym, computers, family & consumer science, ...) & I don't think the people in Indy know yet either!!  We'll just have to wait & see how that all works out..
         Anyways, how did I go from being excited about math money to complaining about testing?!?!
I think I just need to break out some math magazines & start shopping! : )

2004 - 2014: Middle School Math Teacher?  How did that happen?!?   ;)

Okay, so I figured if my husband could have a page all about his work, than I can have one too!! : )

I earned my bachelor's in math & continued to receive my teacher certification, thinking the whole time that I would teach high school math.  Well, here I am a decade later teaching middle-schoolers?? Wth?? 
     What happened => I got a job offer at the local middle school, which was exciting & odd, since I never even applied & hadn't finished student teaching yet. Turns out the guy offering me the job had seen an article about me (I was a featured scholar in my college's graduation publication.) I accepted, thinking I would just wait until a high school position opened up.  Then I did my student teaching - 10 weeks at the high school & 6 weeks at the middle school. At the high school most of the classes were fine, except one. They had taken everyone that had failed Algebra I the year before & put them in that class. And that class was what ruined hs teaching for me.  It was just soooooo depressing. Kids openly discussing how they were just waiting until they could drop out of school, some on probation, some with ankle braclets, some had already spent time in the juvenile detention center. I guess I had been tracked (& super naive) because I had no idea this was even a problem!  I decided I needed to get to the kids BEFORE they got to this point in their lives. So, although I enjoyed the higher level math classes, I knew I had a better chance at reaching some of these kids in middle school.  So I began teaching there & stuck with it!  Teaching math is only a part of what I do; I also work to prepare these kids for their futures, trying to get them to understand that the decisions they make today affect what happens tomorrow (which is hard because most can't see beyond the weekend!) 

An added bonus:
Much to my delight, I get to teach my son, B, for 2 years in a row now!!!   ; )

More math awesomeness:
Thankfully, none of my students have ever written either of the above answers.
Although I have gotten a lot of "IDK"'s...

One of my students actually asked me to solve the math equation written above, 
9x - 7i > 3(3x - 7u), during class.  Definitely the BEST MATH PROBLEM EVER
For the less math savy, it ends with "I love you."  Awwwww.... : )
And the pic of the text books? Why, yes, I do have that on a t-shirt! 

Yup, I totally have this t-shirt, too!!

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