Ryan Koczela's Reflection

Being confident as a teacher is one of the most important aspects that a teacher can have. Before I took this class, Math 355, I only actually taught a lesson to a group of high school students twice, so I was still a little nervous when I had to teach my first lesson for this class. I truly believe that I gained confidence as a teacher throughout the semester because of this class. This class had me in a high school classroom once a week. Since we were in the high school classroom so often, I was able to build relationships with the students. These students also made me more confident in teaching.

I also gained confidence, because each class that we had at the college, we would go over how the previous lesson went. Professor Von would give me feedback each time that I taught. I was able to use this feedback so I could improve my teaching for the next lesson. I noticed a big difference from when I taught my first lesson to when I taught my last lesson.

In my first lesson, I did not really know the students well, and I felt like I was rushed during the lesson. I could tell that I was not confident in myself because I felt nervous and did not know what questions to ask the students. By the time I got to teaching my last lesson, I felt like teaching to this high school class was a normal everyday activity. I felt more confident because of all the different ways to teach that we learned in this class, the feedback that we received after each lesson we taught, and the relationships that I built with the students. In my last lesson, I was not nervous at all, I was having normal conversations with the students and I was asking the students the right questions. After realizing the confidence that I gained as a teacher from this class, I can not wait to have my own classroom to teach in the future.

We also learned about inquiry-based learning throughout the semester. This style of teaching is not used by many teachers in our world today, but this is how I want to teach.

There has been a lot of research about inquiry-based teaching, and how mathematics teachers are trying to move towards this teaching style. I did a lot of research on this topic because I am using this in my unit plan. I always thought that I was going to teach in a traditional style like most high school math teachers teach, but that is not the case. While taking this class, I learned all about the different ways to use inquiry and how effective using inquiry in a classroom actually is, and I realized that this is how I want to teach. In the classroom at the college, we practiced many different ideas on how to use this teaching method. The main idea that we talked about was asking the students questions. We wanted to understand what questions to ask these students. The questions that we talked about the most were, “Can you explain what you did to the class?” Another one was “How did you get your answer?” We also thought about, “Why does your answer make sense?” This questions were used in the high school classroom each lesson. Inquiry-based learning involves letting the students explore the topic before getting an explanation of the topic. This is what I did in each lesson that I taught. I believe that this teaching method gets the students fully engaged in the lesson, and it makes the students think critically and use their mathematical ideas to solve the problem.

If you are reading this blog and are considering taking this class, do it! Professor Von taught me a lot of different aspects about teaching that I never thought of before.

When you first start taking this class, you may be very nervous. By the end of the class you will be confident in yourself, and will actually be excited to go teach in the classroom. I progressed as a mathematics teacher throughout this course. I became more confident in myself, and I learned many different teaching styles and tools that helped me become the teacher that I am today.

If you plan on becoming a teacher, or are even thinking about becoming a teacher, then I would take this class. You will not regret it, and I can almost guarantee that it will make you want to become a teacher even more.