Tuesday, February 24, 2015

My Teacher Hero


 All teachers have also been students. This post is part of a blog link up celebrating wonderful teachers that we had or work with. I have had a lot of amazing teachers! I was thinking through my favorite childhood teachers trying to decide which one to write about: my 5th grade teacher, my middle school science teacher or my high school French teacher. But I remembered I was thinking about an amazing teacher just last night. He helped  me become the math educator I am today. Dr. Piel was my Elementary Education Math Professor and the University of North Carolina in Charlotte. He emphasized putting the kids first and not to blindly follow textbook curriculum. He showed us how some standards expected of our students are just not developmentally appropriate. One of his favorite things to ask us was, "What do you teach?" The correct answer was not a grade level or a subject but children. I think that was actually a frequent test question. He taught us the importance of teaching our math students using concrete manipulatives. Many of us did not have much experience using them ourselves. During our college classes we solved problems with Cuisinaire Rods and Base-10 Blocks. I'm sure many more classrooms in Charlotte would have manipulatives still housed in plastic boxes if it weren't for Dr. Piel. The experiences we had in class made us comfortable and confident in using these materials with our students. We wrote lessons that used these manipulatives for our classmates to complete (and critique). I still have my course pack from his classes and refer to them for alternative ways to teach some skills. I know that being in Dr. Piel's class completely shaped the way I teach math and my beliefs about teaching in general. When my principal gave us the opportunity to departmentalize I was excited to be able to focus on teaching math. My education in this subject area gave me the confidence I needed to group and differentiate for my students and to be one of the first teachers in my school to move into a math workshop model. Thank you Dr. Piel for caring about teaching teachers the most effective math instruction techniques. 

As a teacher of children, you make a difference in so many lives. Remember that teachers are heroes and what you do truly matters.

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1 comment:

  1. Isn't it amazing how one teacher can shape how we teach today? Loved your post- thanks for linking up! :)

    Jenny

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