I was not born to teach

I was not born a technology person. 

I am a person who does not accept that he does not know how to do something related to technology and explores how he does it until he figures it out. I am a person who will occasionally search to the fifteenth page of a Google search until I find the right piece of knowledge that helps me figure out my problem. I am a person who believes that I can eventually figure out any technological problem I am given, even if the answer sometimes is to find someone with more expertise. I am a person a who has been exploring the use of technology since I was inspired by the gift of my first personal computer at eight years old.

I was not born a mathematician.

I am a person who has been exploring numbers since before he started school, supported by a home environment rich in numbers and geometry. I am a person whose parents never told me that math was hard. I am a person who found solace in exploring ideas when he found out that kids can be cruel. I am a person who had a pair of exceptional mathematics teachers from grade four to grade six who taught me that mathematical ideas weren’t just meant to be written down and forgotten later but discussed and explored. I am a person who has studied mathematics for nearly 35 years.

I was not born to teach.

I am a person who often dreaded going to school as a young child either because I was bored or bullied. I am a person who struggled to make friends at school and never really understood other people. I am a person who decided to take musical theatre just to be part of the cool crowd in middle school. I am a person who needed to fill a block in eleventh grade and got pushed into peer tutoring by his guidance counsellor. I am a person who learned that he loved it when he could help other people understand. I am a person who worked hard every moment he was in his teaching program to the point of being called driven by his friends. I am a person who nearly gave up teaching in his first year because of how hard it was. I am a person who only survived his first year of teaching because he found out other people in his school were struggling as much as he was. I am a person who has dedicated a large portion of his life to learning more and more about the relationship between teaching and learning for the last twelve years of my life.

When we see someone who seems to do something well, we have the tendency to assume that they have special talent, rather than they had a set of experiences that prepared them to be successful.

 

 

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5 Comments

  • “I am a person who learned that [she] loved it when [she] could help other people understand”

    Yes, this.  it’s a good reminder of why we do things that scare/confuse/frustrate us as part of getting better at helping people understand!

  • Hi David! “I am a person who has dedicated a large portion of his life to learning more and more about the relationship between teaching and learning” – I love that. Enjoyed the whole post, but love that specifically because of all the joy and tension, wonder and struggle that makes that relationship. Thanks for sharing those ideas. I need inspiration with the current climate in education in BC!

  • Hi David

    When I read this I thought I was reading about myself.

    Mathematics is seriously addictive

    Teaching is almost as addictive, except when I was stuck with the same timetable for three years (only 3 and you got fed up!), but I solved that by moving into Control Systems, just about the most mathematical of all engineering disciplines.

    My dad used to say that all mathematicians had unhappy childhoods. He was a mathematician as well.

    Anyway, thanks for a good read.

  • Courtney Hall wrote:

    Hi David,

    My name is Courtney Hall and I am a student in EDM 310 at the University of South Alabama. Each week we are assigned a teachers blog to comment on, but this week we were allowed to choose our own from a list provided to us. I chose your blog after skimming the page, and have really enjoyed reading your posts. This one stuck out to me. “When we see someone who seems to do something well, we have the tendency to assume that they have special talent, rather than they had a set of experiences that prepared them to be successful”. I love how you said this. I think this is very true for myself, and you really put this into a new perspective for me!

     

  • David Wees wrote:

    Thank you for commenting on my post Courtney. Good luck with your chosen career!

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