Every teacher needs some inspiration from time to time. I have come across these quotes over the years and have had time to appreciate the deep meaning in all of them. Anyone who has taught for a while will see the value in these quotes. Here I offer these quotes and a bit of my teaching philosophy.
Background knowledge is important but to reach the higher level thinking skills one needs to tap into the student’s inner motivation. I try to help them find their path and then watch as they construct their own future. I always try to show the beauty and excitement of how science and mathematics can enhance their lives. Make connections to students and be passionate about your subject and the fire will be lit.
A quality education should be free for all people. It is the only thing that will save the human race from itself.
I learn as much as or more than my students. Every time I teach I gain a better understanding of the material by making new connections to other relevant areas in math and science. Reread your favorite math or science book and see how much more you understand.
We learn by doing. This is especially true in mathematics and science. It’s good to struggle in math and make mistakes, that’s how we learn. Mathematics and science are not spectator sports.
“A mathematician, like a painter or poet, is a maker of patterns. If his patterns are more permanent than theirs, it is because they are made with ideas.” G.H. Hardy, A Mathematician’s Apology (London 1941)
One of my favorite mathematicians. The story of how he found and worked with Ramanujan is amazing. He was an atheist but I’m sure God is a mathematician.
I read this book years ago and it literally rocked my world. “A musician wakes from a terrible nightmare...” If you teach math in any context, you should read this free book. Think carefully and reflect on how and why you teach math the way you do.