I've been teaching math full-time in public high schools since 1989. In the past five years, I have taught Algebra 1 (regular and accelerated), Geometry, Algebra 2, Honors Algebra 2, and IB Math SL. (Formerly "Math Methods"). My side job is teaching an ACT/SAT preparation course.
I believe that students master content over time. I think the longer they are in contact with a concept, the better they will internalize the material. I therefore include a lot of "spiral review" in my lessons whenever possible. I no longer "lecture" my students with notes: as a matter of fact, notes are optional, as I have found that if students just pay attention to a 15-20 minute mini-lesson each day, they are much better engaged with the material and most of the "information" can just be included on the worksheet where they need it.
I have been a National Board Certified Teacher since 2002. My first student teacher is now a professor of Education and has served on the board of NCTM. (I can't claim any credit for his accomplishments, as they are his own, but it's fun to tell people about him!)
When I was in elementary school, I was literally the last kid to learn how to carry in 2nd grade, the very last kid in 3rd grade to learn how to borrow, and in 4th grade, I was one of the last 5 kids to learn to do long division. I thought at the time that most math facts were just memorization, and I have a really hard time just memorizing facts and information: flash cards were just a nightmare for me. I still struggle at times with memorization of information that others seem simply to soak up. In 5th grade, I had a wonderful teacher, Mrs. Baker, at Spring Hill Elementary School in McLean, Virginia. I don't know what happened exactly that year, but fractions and geometric constructions just made sense, and for the first time in my life, another kid actually copied off of my math paper! While I don't condone that, at that time, I was very proud of myself, as nothing like that had ever happened before. From that point on, I was one year ahead in math. During my senior year of high school in calculus, I got really psyched that I could integrate a function whose integral was the arctangent function to estimate pi. I wanted to write a computer program to estimate pi to dozens of digits by making millions of "rectangles" under the curve and adding up their areas. I saved up money cutting lawns and delivering newspapers to purchase my very own Apple ][+ computer, and I set about learning BASIC so I could estimate pi. The program did exactly what it was supposed to do, but because of round-off error, I think I was able to estimate pi accurate to about 3 decimal places. It was a bit disappointing, but the experience was so exciting, I went on to pursue electrical engineering. I attended the University of Virginia for my B.S. in Electrical Engineering. I have an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford, but to help pay for tuition, I worked as a teaching assistant, and realized that teaching was really what I should be doing. I switched majors to earn my Masters in Education at Stanford, and I have been teaching math in public high schools ever since. My favorite mathematical activities today are playing sudoku, writing excel spreadsheets to do things such as calculate 2^100, and trying to find an algorithm to pick stocks from the S&P 500 to outperform the overall market.
I love to run on the trails near my home in Colorado. I did the 2009 Denver marathon with a time of 4:27:03, which is just a tad over a 10-minute mile pace. I have two children, ages 7 and 10, and currently reside in Colorado. With two dogs, my wife and I are pretty busy!
Math, Algebra, Applied Math, Basic Operations, Calculus, Fractions, Geometry, Graphing, Numbers, PreCalculus, Trigonometry, Other (Math), Arts & Music, Accounting, Anatomy, Statistics, Word Problems, Algebra 2, Mental Math