Teachers beliefs on what math is and the importance of math is crucial in the setting of a classroom because whether teachers realize it or not, their beliefs regarding what mathematics is will directly influence the way they teach mathematics. If teachers believe math is “memorizing rules and theorems to get the right answer” then that is the way a teacher will teach math-by direct instruction with importance on the main answer. Is this what I believe math should look like? Not in the least bit. I believe math is about understanding the problem solving and reasoning method that are taking place and becoming aware of the metacognitive processes that are taking place. I believe that to fully learn math is to be able to apply the concepts and make connections to other areas of learning. So, what do I believe it is to know and do mathematics? I hope to have a classroom where students are open to learning math concepts and ideas and have an understanding and aching of how math connects to other areas of life. How do we use math concepts in areas of social justice? Why are math concepts critical in sports or technology? Students need to be taught that is in a way relevant to them so they can become excited and intrigued about math. Are students excited when we teach question 4 out of the textbook? Sure, some students may be excited because they know how to manipulate the question in order to get the right answer. But, are they excited about what they are LEARNING? For the most part I don’t believe they are and if we can make math relevant to students interests and situations that are currently happening in the world, I truly believe that students will understand why we teach math.
My Math Creed
1. I believe teachers need to understand their beliefs on math and how that will transfer into HOW they teach math.
2. I believe that everyone can learn and enjoy math
3. I believe that the process, not the answer is the most important part of math.
4. I believe that math IS relevant to students today
5. I believe we teach math to learn problem solving and reasoning skills