** What do you consider to be the single most important change in you as a teacher?**

Last week a student asked a question, that in the moment I felt completely comfortable answering with a quick pass. But upon reflection, I realized that actually the question was really deep – and it forced me to re-evaluate what I actually think I know (It’s pretty deep– I haven’t figured it out yet, and it bothers me a lot). It reinforced for me that knowledge is not given, and that if you prod a bit even in the most seemingly trivial things, you can uncover rich ideas.

Instructor, Community College

For me personally, I have re-examined and changed my philosophy (after 36 successful years as a mathematics teacher) about what it means to learn and teach mathematics. I continue to work on my questioning skills to better see what my students understand. I am no longer the “giver of information” and the “answer book.” Since 1991 when NCTM told us in their Professional Standards that we needed to become a facilitator of learning, I have been trying to determine what that really meant and what it would look like. For the first time in my career, I have an understanding of what that means and how I can make it happen. And I am continuing to strive toward that image.

Instructor, Community College

The single most important change I see in myself is an understanding that my role as a teacher is to facilitate an environment where students engage in the construction of mathematical ideas, push on each other’s thinking, and share curiosities that come from debating processes and results.

RMST, Middle School Teacher

I no longer see math as a fixed ability. I used to think that students were either good at math or not and if they weren’t, there wasn’t a lot that I could do. Now I see all students as capable learners of math when given multiple opportunities to learn the concept and understand it.

RMST, Middle School Teacher

Trusting my students to learn even when the learning looks messy

RMST, Middle School Teacher

The most important change in me has been to become the facilitator in the classroom so that kids can discover and build their deep understanding of math concepts through rich messy problems rather than a “drill and kill” method. The math is richer…the math is deeper…and the math connects and resonates with the kids.

RMST, Middle School Teacher

The most important change in me is my confidence in the process. Students can and will learn math more deeply when they are given the opportunity to struggle and talk about math. I am pressing students to make meaning from what we are doing instead of talking about just the “how” of solving mathematical problems.

RMST, Elementary Teacher

I look at the ideal math classroom very differently now, and have a direction in which to lead my fellow teachers. We must move towards deep understanding that can only be reached with experimentation and open-ended problems where kids are doing the math, not the teachers. I now have more than just gut instinct that visuals and manipulatives are the way to go.

RMST, Middle School Teacher

I have developed such a strong passion for supporting changes in math instruction. I know that meaning-based instruction is what kids need and deserve and I’m passionate about delivering it to students in my classroom AND supporting families, teachers, and administrators to make it happen.

RMST, Elementary Teacher