“It’s all about making money moves with this generation”
That’s what Jamie Cavett, 6th Grade Math Teacher at Latin College Prep in East Point, Georgia is inspiring her scholars to do. Making connections to real life situations, specifically music does just that. As a Mississippi native, Jamie is a great example of how new age teachers are using best practices from when they were in the classroom to help children reach their full potential. Not only is Jamie a Math Teacher, but she’s also Co SGA Adviser, Co BETA Club Adviser, Co Cheerleader Coach, Assistant Director of the school’s Culture Advisory Board. She understands the importance of time management, balance and fun. This is a daily lesson she also imparts within her students. “I tell my scholars everyday that there’s nothing they can’t achieve if they go for it!” Every day is an opportunity to do just that. Jamie believes that if her students are affirmed they will be empowered to learn.
Jamie believes that Math can become a favorite subject again amongst the masses of students served in American public schools. Her goals as an educator are to empower and challenge students to do better and be the best at anything they strive to be. Jamie realizes that students are our future and she wants to make a difference in their lives. Through her instruction, her students will be able to develop a thorough understanding of the subject and apply Math in their everyday lives. Hopefully, her teaching skills will allow the students to come to love Math as much as she does. Let’s hear more of what Jamie has to say!
Making Math Matter
I aspire to help scholars become knowledgeable of how they can implement mathematics in their daily lives. Typically, there are a few scholars who believe mathematics isn’t essential in everyday life whereas it is vital. For example, most young adults seem to find difficulty in budgeting and saving because they may not know how to manage it. This stems back to learning mathematics. It has also been proven that individuals who excel in mathematics are critical thinkers and good decision makers.
As a mathematics educator, I believe in utilizing the six mathematical practices aligned Common Core. My top three mathematical practices would have to be: attend to precision, make sense of problems and persevere in solving them, and construct viable
arguments and critique the reasoning of others. In order for scholars to learn any concept, it is important that they know the mathematical terms and definitions. Through this, they are able to grasp the concepts and make sense of them. Then, they will be able to communicate their thoughts effectively. In my classroom, scholars sit in a group to work together to learn from one another and create mathematical language. One last practice that I utilize often is making the content transparent. It is better to find something
scholars can relate to help them learn and cater to their learning rather than think about the way you learned in school.
Teaching Beyond the Classroom
I am currently the co-sponsor for the Junior Beta Club, Student Government Association, Cheerleading squad, and L.A.T.I.N. Sisterhood. I tend to participate in school activities and be involved with my scholars to build a positive teacher-student relationship with
them. In America, scholars spend more time with their teachers than their parents. By saying this, teachers have more of an impact on children than anyone else. Positivity is contagious. Scholars who are involved in student activities typically are excited about learning, have better grades, and little to no discipline issues.
Practice Makes Perfect
Holiday season is the perfect time for helping scholars practice their mathematics skills because there is a lot of cooking and traveling. Allow your child to help you measure items in the kitchen. When you are on the road or driving to the store, ask your kid to estimate how long it will take you to get to your destination at a certain mileage. Utilize their interests as well. This generation LOVES technology. It takes no time to download a mathematics application on a phone or tablet. Last but not least, parents need to be positive about learning mathematics. Mathematics is not hereditary. Everyone is capable of learning Math if it’s taught in a way that reaches them.
Challenges and Solutions
The challenges I see scholars face is lack of confidence within themselves. Teachers and parents have to support scholars while learning mathematics. If they feel as if they are incapable, they will eventually not want to learn mathematics. Another challenge I see is lack of practice. In order to be good in mathematics, you have to study which is essentially practicing what you are learning by answer problems, doing homework, etc. I have a group-based classroom which helps with team-building, synchronizing learning
speeds, and awareness. As a young educator, it can be difficult to find what works for your scholars and subject. Once you see the need in your classroom, you can go about meeting it by creating a unique learning style for those particular students. In some mathematics classrooms, I believe it is essential to ask questions. I have made it a major key aspect in my classroom. Teachers should ask class questions, group questions, and individual questions in order to guide students understanding and check for understanding. Students should ask questions to grasp a better understanding of any concept. Another major key in my classroom is knowing my student’s weaknesses in mathematics. If I know where they may have a void in knowledge, I am able to teach them effectively. I believe that there’s always a way to work it out; you just have to be willing to find it.
Jason has worked in education for over 15 years as a teacher, blogger and community advocate. He speaks and writes primarily about the need to improve education for Black boys, particularly increasing the number of Black male educators in schools. In addition to blogging here at EdLanta, Jason is also a featured writer at Education Post.
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