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Danielle Alexander

18065 SW Lower Boones Ferry Road Unit 106 Tigard, OR 97224 (951) 453-4584

Teaching Philosophy

As a teacher, I believe that students need to have a growth mindset and the ability to connect
the math were learning in class to everyday situations in order to be successful in an advanced
math course. Once the students are able to gain a growth mindset, their opportunities are
endless. I want my students to leave my class with problem solving skills, perseverance, and
conceptual understanding, along with the understanding that math is fundamental to our survival
and future. I am a strong believer in the constructivist approach, where students will construct
their own meanings of things, and build on those meanings through reflection and experiences.
I believe that students work best by working in small groups and participating in math as much
as possible. My role as a teacher is to guide and refrain from walking them through concepts.
The students need to find their own way and be able to reason mathematically through more
abstract beliefs. I plan to be a guide for the students by modeling with mathematics and using
academic language in every class. By modeling with mathematics, I can guide and scaffold the
students through difficult problems and ideas, and allow them to reason through the difficultness
individually or with partners. The students will learn that having a growth mindset is crucial for
being successful in an advanced mathematics course.

If someone would observe me teach, they will see me interacting with the students to make them
feel more comfortable and confident in their math skills. I always try to get down to the students
level so I can talk individually with the students during group work, and also so I can clarify for
the student certain parts that are confusing on a more individual basis. I am constantly
complimenting the students on their effort and their hard work in the class. I try not to praise the
students for being good in math, since your intelligence in math can be changed by how much
effort and work you are willing to put into it. I have the mindset that I can shape students views
about math in a more positive direction than what they may have previously experienced. I plan
to do this by relating the math to their life as much as possible. During my student teaching year,
I sent out digital surveys for the students to fill out that informed me of activities the students
like to do outside of the classroom. With this information, I connected exponential growth to a
fun zombie apocalypse activity, since most students liked to watch The Walking Dead. I was also
able to connect exponential growth to the Portland Timbers soccer league and the world
population, and the students left my class feeling like they accomplished something rather than
just taking notes. I aspire for my students to connect math to real world situations and to enjoy
partaking in mathematical discourse. By connecting the math to things they enjoy, they are
discussing mathematical procedures or relating it to other real life scenarios, without realizing
they are doing math outside of class.

I will continue to grow as a teacher by learning from my students and colleagues year after year
and observing what I need to adapt to make it worthwhile for the students. Each class of students
will be different in some way, so being able to continue to modify lessons and curriculum for the
students in my class will make me a stronger and more effective teacher. I plan to continue to
learn more ways that I can connect the students to the material and ways to better the classroom
environment for the students. I also plan to investigate what works best for certain students, so
I can learn how to differentiate each lesson for learners with different skill sets and levels. By
putting my practice to the test, I will be able to see what works well and how I can change or
learn more in order to be a more effective teacher. A teachers job is never done, for we are
always learning something new.