Math has always been a roller coaster for me. I know that just like a roller coaster it can be scary for some and it can cause some anxiety. However, sometimes for a brief moment it is exciting and fun. I always thought math to be interesting and I was drawn to it.
As a child, I started my math journey in Mexico. The experience was more stressful than anything that I had faced at that time. Teachers would be strict and expected you to memorize facts all day long. If you didn't know your multiplication facts in 2nd grade you get smacked with a ruler in your palms. I remember once, I got hit with the ruler because I didn't know the answer to some math problem. Thankfully, by second grade we came to the States. But moved from place to place as my parents looked for jobs. My schooling consisted of a couple of months in one school before we moved on to the next. I really feel was out of sorts. Learning a new language was difficult. I don’t think I had the luxury to communicate with my teachers and classmates until about the 4th grade. I was never around people that looked like me until about the 5th grade when we finally settled down in Chicago.
In 5th grade, I caught up to my peers in speaking, reading, writing. Math followed shortly. I was good at memorization of math facts. I really liked competing against others or getting 100’s on my assignments. I thought I was doing well enough in class to think that I was good at math. However, when High School came around I learned otherwise.
In High School I struggled with algebra and geometry. I can honestly say that I don’t think I was prepared to tackle this confusing concepts. However, I got my self tutoring and manage to pass all my classes. I couldn’t ask for help from my parents because they weren’t able to comprehend the vast concepts of geometry and algebra. I didn’t take calculus or any higher courses. As a matter a fact I stayed away from it. I guess I began to doubt myself.
In college, I think I truly began to understand math as more than just procedures that needed to be memorized. I had a great teacher that helped me go back to the basics and install a strong foundation. Once, I graduated college and began to teach. I really wanted to pass on this new information to my students about math. I was send to our Networks Math professional developments in my first year teaching and have either volunteer or being send ever since then.
Today, I see myself more and more as a mathematician. I am more comfortable teaching math to my students. I definitely see myself teaching math.
How is your Math Journey?