I just sent this email out to 120 of my closest friends. Since there are 180 days in a school year, I need all of them to respond plus 60 more thoughts from other people. (Ha, see my math teacher subtraction skills?) If you didn’t get this email, I still really want you to think about this. Please leave your ideas in the comments or send them to [email protected]
As most of you know, I just finished my first year teaching 8th grade math with Teach For America. It was a great year overall, but there are a couple things that I really need to improve over the summer.
One of the hardest parts of my job was convincing eighth graders that they need to pay attention because the random things we learn might one day be relevant to their lives. I spent a lot of the year saying vague things like, “When you’re a doctor, you’re going to need this”, but I didn’t really know what I was talking about and so they didn’t really care. Here’s where you come in.
If you could write me back to tell me ANY ways that you use math in your job, or how you needed math to get your job, or how you will use math when you get out of school, I’d really appreciate it. I’ll feature you and your job in my classroom and talk up how cool you are to my kids. It can be as simple as using negative numbers because sometimes you lose money, or as interesting as multiplying prime numbers to create secure connections on the internet. Think about presentations that require graphs, required math classes in school, measurement, money, etc. If you need inspiration, everything we cover is here: http://mathinaz.teachfor.us/what-is-8th-grade-math/, but even if it’s not on that list I’m positive I can find a way to make it relevant. I just really need you to help me with ideas.
Also, if you know anyone else with a cool job, I’d love if you would forward this to them.
I’m hoping to feature new jobs daily, and I’d settle for weekly. To do that I need lots of jobs, so please share anything you can think of. You might think it’s irrelevant or obvious, but I promise my kids have never considered it before.