You all graduated from high school this Friday, only two days ago! I miss you already! Seventy of you – all seniors – whom I taught this school year in my two AP Calculus AB and two Calculus classes. (In addition, those of you who were also in my AP Calculus and Precalculus classes as juniors last year.)
Just a few more days, and 54 of you, seniors in my three Advanced Placement Calculus AB classes will be gone from my classroom. You will start a new and exciting journey in college or will travel the world for a while. Wherever you will be, please don’t forget this great group that you were part of. I know, I won’t.
Just a brief reminder that – whether we realize it or not – mathematics is everywhere in our lives. “We all use math every day; to predict weather, to tell time, to handle money. Math is more than formulas or equations; it’s logic, it’s rationality; it’s using your mind to solve the biggest mysteries we know.”
You are officially gone from school now (except for five juniors and one freshman). I don’t need to prepare lesson plans for you or correct your quizzes and tests – instead, I can reflect on our year together. You definitely will not be forgotten!
Sharing information about happenings in the classroom with parents is always a positive experience. I’ve found this to be true in my Honors Precalculus, Intermediate Algebra, and Math Topics classes at Seattle Preparatory School, when I involved them in providing feedback to portfolios.
Nothing speaks stronger about my students’ progress in mathematics and personal growth than their own words. Over the course of a few years, students reflected deeply on their experiences in my Honors Precalculus, Intermediate Algebra, and Math Topics classes. The reflections were a requirement of the portfolio assessment.
It all started accidentally, with reading an article. It was 1998, my first year of teaching in the USA. That memorable year taught me many lessons. Among those was the realization that along with my extensive experiences of teaching in Europe, I needed to explore and integrate new methods that were available in America.
Today is Pi Day of the century! The only day when the first five digits of the number π: 3.1415 are spelled out in the date of the day 3/14/15. Pronounced as “pie” in English, we often celebrate it by baking pies.
“Do you want one?” a student asked me. Not really knowing what she was offering or what I was going to do with it once I had it, I quickly said, “Yes, sure.” I wanted to be polite. It was my first year of teaching at Seattle Preparatory School in Seattle, WA.
I find it amazing that sometimes when I read something it is so relevant and perfectly timed to what is happening in my life. This school year, for the first time in my long teaching career, I teach only seniors. One hundred and ten of them. I have only eight more school days with this group of talented young people. What do I tell them as my farewell?