My Favorites Are My Students!

Its week two of the 2016 MTBoS Blogging Initiative, so here goes…

The prompt for this week’s blog post is as follows:

Our week two blogging challenge is to simply blog about one of your favorite things.  Called a “My Favorite,” it can be something that makes teaching a specific math topic work really well.  It does not have to be a lesson, but can be anything in teaching that you love!  It can also be something that you have blogged or tweeted about before.  Some ideas of favorites that have been shared are:

  • A lesson (or part of one) that went greatmyfav
  • A game your students love to play
  • A fun and/or effective way to practice facts
  • A website or app you love to use in class
  • An organizational trick or tip that has been life changing
  • A product that you use in your classroom that you can’t live without!

My favorite is none of these things, but indirectly related to all of them.  My favorite thing in teaching is my students, all of them! Even the ones whose regular review of my class sounds little something like this, “Ugh, Mister, that’s mad work!” All in a day’s work, friends, all in a day’s work!

I am currently finalizing my application for the 2016 Heinemann Fellowship and part of the application process is getting letters of recommendation. I have them from a mentor, a principal, and a colleague, but it also allowed for student letters of recommendation. So I asked them and one of my students volunteered. He is not one of the tooth-suckers I described above, but he is representative of a subsection of my student population. The student population I work with ranges from students with learning disabilities and speech and language impairments to students on the autism spectrum which effects their life and connection to the outside world in major ways. This student fits into the first category. We read the description of what Heinemann was looking for in their teachers together, defined some unknown words, and I asked him to send it to me when he was done. This week he sent it to me and I am going to reproduce it in its entirety below.

My name is [redacted] I am one of Mr Gael’s students.
I am 16 years old and I go to Cooke Center Academy. I have been Mr Gael’s student for 2 years and he has helped me a lot during the school year. Mr Gael is an amazing teacher who is great at teaching math. He has helped by guiding me  through math whenever I am having difficulties by explaining the problem in a different way to help me understand it better. I think Mr Gael would be an excellent teacher for this teaching program because he is a dedicated teacher and he truly does his best at teaching. He has also helped me by willing to stay and help me even when class is over and if I still have questions or if I need any help with my work.  I am very lucky to be his student again this year for math. I hope Mr Gael does get into this teaching program because he is a hard working teacher and he deserves to be in this teaching program because he would be perfect for the teacher for this program. Thank you for reading my letter and I hope Mr Gael gets accepted into the program.



So as I said, “My Favorite” is my students, because they are why I do any of the things that I do.

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