When Teaching Gets Real: My Experience in the High School Math Classroom

Solomon, Heidi
When we set out in our study of education, hoping to teach one day, many education majors have only an idealized notion of how (for example) to bring life and fun into the classroom by supplying an applied, experiential context with an educational guide on fire for learning and teaching. We think of pulling the kids out of the trenches they have constructed to defend themselves against the tedious and antagonistic-appearing subjects that they have had to confront for so long (especially in mathematics, where math majors often hear the greeting "good for you; I hate math"). Or maybe we even think of the teachers who become like second parents to their students, the ones that get the letters later about how they changed the students' worlds. But what happens when the rubber meets the road and the teacher meets the students? Not only that, but when the teacher meets the school and all the other, out-of-class duties that belong to that most honorable station? Well, make it or break it, this is where student teaching confronted my preconceptions and taught me a little more not only about the art and science of teaching in a real world, but also a little about what being a teacher means outside the classroom.
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