I love teaching because it’s my L.I.F.E.

L- Love

Without love in my heart I will never survive the challenges of teaching in America. I am a Filipino math teacher and I started teaching in America last 2006. After 5 years of teaching in the Philippines, I accepted a teaching job offer from Baltimore City through a teacher exchange program. Teaching in the US is one of the biggest decisions in my life because I have to leave my family who is at least 8,600 miles away from me to live alone by myself in a foreign land but I love teaching and I want to gain new experiences and insights to help me grow professionally.

I know that teaching in the US, especially in the inner cities, will be very different from what I used to have (where students have respect and high regards to teachers) but I believe that if I love what I do and if I let my students feel the love I have for them I will be a good teacher or may be a great teacher. It is the love that I pour out in planning the lessons, finding creative and innovative ways to teach Math, inspiring and challenging the students to do their best in Math and in life. As I let love rule in my heart, I can help hopeless students do Math, forgive disobedient students, be patient with difficult students and genuinely care for students inside and outside the classroom. It is love- that will keep me going when I face tough times, when I feel like giving up and when I feel so stressed out. I always look back and remember the “love” and passion I have in teaching and that I consider it my very own mission in this life.

 

I-Impact

“You never know when or how greatly your words and actions will impact someone else.” As a teacher, we have the opportunity to inspire and touch the lives of our students. What mark do we want to leave in our students’ hearts and minds?

I always try to encourage my students to reach their maximum potential inside and outside the classroom. I challenge them so they can realize that there’s more than what they thought they could do. In my 13 years of teaching, I am experiencing the fruit of my labor and the sweet reward of teaching. I have students who thanked me through Facebook, email or text message because I have touched their lives in one way or another. One of them said that she never thought she would be a very good leader until I gave her a chance and told her she had the potential to be one. Another one said that he became interested and loved math because I made it fun to learn math. I am so blessed to see my students succeed in their chosen field. It feels so great that I am part of their molding process to be the best person that they can be.

 

F- Fun

Teaching can be very exhausting- meetings, professional developments, countless hours of working at home to prepare lessons, grade papers, contact parents and tons of paperwork. Guess what? With the overwhelming demands of this profession 24 hours a day will never be enough but in spite of it all, flexible teachers still see the “fun” in teaching. Fun is relative from one teacher to another. Some teachers consider it fun when a well-planned activity goes smoothly, or when a group of struggling students master a skill, or when the students learn through a game, or when the students discover what they are supposed to learn or it is fun when learning beyond the four corners of the classroom takes place.

I consider myself a modern teacher. I try different ways to teach a certain skill. I consider it fun when I see that students solve on their own or when we do fun activities like measuring the real objects in the classroom and finding the perimeter, area and volume, exploring geometric figures, play different games for probability lessons, calculating the circumference and area of different circular food then, eat and celebrate Pi day (March 13) after all the math hard work, math around the world (stations with different math problems with real facts from different countries), roller coaster project, doing exit tweets and a lot more. There are countless ways to make the subjects that we are teaching fun and exciting. There are interactive websites, apps and professional learning communities that can help us teachers plan to make learning fun for our students and teaching fun for ourselves.

 

E- Excellence

As the saying goes “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” We always remind our students to strive for excellence and to be in their A game. People might be thinking that teachers are delighted when the result of classwork, quizzes and exams are 100’s but do you know that a 70 may be equal to 100 sometimes? If a teacher working with students who have learning disabilities, that 70% might be the best that they can get and it will feel as great as a 100%. Don’t get me wrong…it is important to pass the tests and to get good grades but test scores and grades do not define learning. It is not just the concepts learned; but the learning process and the application of it is what really matter.

I remember a student  in  8th grade who could barely add or subtract single digit numbers. He stayed after school for coach class and sometimes lunch time to learn how to solve equations. After all his hard work, he got an 80% in his test and I rejoiced with him. I told him that he was an excellent student. After some more practice, he was able to solve 2 step equations and he even got 100’s. It was such a wonderful moment to see the joy in his eyes as he received his graded work. He couldn’t wait to show it to his mom.

As we remind our students to strive for excellence, we  teachers must also do the same and strive to be a good role model for our students as we make choices and decisions to cope with the demands of our profession and every day life.

I love teaching because it’s my L.I.F.E.

…and I can never image myself doing something else.    IMG_6299

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