My experience with mathematics was always a positive, enjoyable and successful journey throughout my grade school. I was not always that student who cheered when the teacher assigned more math homework, but thankfully, I was also not the student who struggled and could not wrap my head around numbers. As I progressed through my elementary and high school years I continued to excel and be proud of my mathematical achievements. Maintaining high marks was not the only satisfaction this subject provided me, it continually challenged me and allowed me to successfully reach goals throughout my academic years.
That being said, I was not always so lucky once I entered university math courses, not nearly as successful. Did I ever fail a math class? No, not yet. But the challenges definitely became unenjoyable and the concepts seemed way too overwhelming. At times I could not grasp why I had to take or understand these higher level courses when I would never need to teach these to my future students. Due to intense work loads and unfamiliar content, I sometimes wondered if I should reconsider my major, maybe switch to something ‘easier’? As you can see, that never happened. With the constant support systems my colleagues, professors and family offered me I managed to maintain my overall average to the necessary requirements and be successful in all of my courses. A career choice should never be chosen in regards to difficulty level, I knew I needed to stick with it based on interest, I love the subject.
My experiences with mathematics reflect the relationships I had with my teachers/professors. In high school I had an incredible senior math/calculus teacher who made every single class engaging and easy to understand for all of my classmates. Transitioning into university brought larger classes, less interaction and communication between professors and myself. However, I still highly respect the few professors I did have who reached out and offered office hours to assist whenever needed. This has specifically enhance the importance of relationships I need to create with my students.
I believe mathematics is extremely important and can be used as a vehicle to develop students’ minds. Without repetitive lecture, math is intertwined so often into our everyday lives, can always be cross-curricular, and provides the opportunity for individuals, like myself, to become successful and proud of the achievements within. Challenges are great, always useful in growing and learning, and I truly believe that with regular practice of mathematics it will only benefit students’ lives as a whole; lifelong learners, engaged citizens and even content experts.
Thus, mathematics is a huge part of my life. From enjoyment throughout my academic years, choosing it to be a part of my career, continually using it within my music, I believe without a doubt, it equals happiness.