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Open Thread: What Makes a Good Math Teacher?

by Jose Vilson on February 19, 2009

in Jose



Here are a few good questions for everyone. At the behest of brran, I’ve decided to start an open thread about math teachers. As the title says, what makes a good math teacher?

As someone who considers himself a good math teacher, I often wonder what takes a teacher from good to great, or even from adequate to good. What are your criterion for good math teaching? I think this thread may be useful for those of us in math education, and those of us who love math (or even hate math).

Here are some questions to get your mind going:

  • What was your favorite math subject? (Anything from k-college is wanted)
  • Who was your favorite math teacher?
  • Why did you like them so much?
  • Was it about the academics or about the feelings you got from that person?
  • Is there a particular math concept that you enjoyed?
  • Did you love or hate math?
  • If you hated math for most of your life, why is that? What would have improved your experience?

OK, your turn. Throw out your craziest, sensationalist, or even mild ideas about these questions. The floor is yours. If you’re a math teacher / educator, think about your own teaching and whether you think you’re a good math teacher.

Jose, who wants you to use whatever method you please to answer this question.


Open Thread: Thankful

by Jose Vilson on November 27, 2008

in Jose

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

My favorite Thanksgiving traditions involve my younger brother and cousin eating pernil (pork) from Mom’s awesome cooking, drinking tons of soda, playing NBA 2Ksomething, or Mario Kart, and then sitting in the living room after the adults left and talking shit. Just putrid and haterific shit. Most of it I can’t even remember, but I know most of it wasn’t even called for. Needless to say, my family traditions weren’t traditional.

Living on the Lower East Side in a time when I’d hear random gun shots fired, and darkness rarely evaded us, many of us were just thankful to live to the next day, when Chico was making murals for the deceased every 2 weeks. In many ways, I’m thankful for the difficult times growing up, because it developed my character and made me perceptive and resilient where others may have folded.

I’m thankful for family, wherever they are. As uncanny as my situation may be, we in the younger generation on both sides of my family have definitely taken the initiative to solidify our relationships with each other. I’d like to say it’s because we didn’t want to follow the example of our parents … well that’s the truth actually.

I’m thankful that I’m in the profession I’d like to be in. The opportunity to have an impact on any child academically and socially becomes too hard to pass up, especially in these days and time.

I’m thankful for my support system, especially my lady. Even though she’s got a lot going on, I know she’s someone who I can depend on when times get crazy.

I’m thankful for the opportunity to express myself, really.

What are you thankful for?

Jose, who wants some of that tasty pernil now …