Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Day 152 - This one's for the Mathletes

Today's post is from AP Calculus Teacher Lisa Paul

We must remember that it is the journey, not the destination, that shapes us. Teaching an AP course is an exhilarating experience, where the students learn as much as I do along the way. As a math teacher at MWHS for the past 15 years, I know all too well that students are often judged solely on the outcome of any given test; NWEA tests, MCA tests, ACT tests, and my area of expertise, AP Exams. These tests are used to evaluate, track, grade, and distinguish students. At times it feels unfair. An Olympian trains their entire life for one shot at a race that may last less than 10 seconds, and their results may or may not satisfy. My students work hard their entire math career learning the skills necessary to jump in and work even harder their AP year. For some, their efforts are showcased by the AP exam. For others, the test may report that they fell just short of their goals, much like an Olympian who fails to medal. Regardless of the results of that test, I love the journey we take together.

It is inspiring to watching these young mathematicians discuss, debate and teach calculus with and to each other. While I teach them about integrals, and infinite series that actually have a sum, they remind me of everything I need to know about life outside of calculus. While I keep them up to speed on the whims of the all-mighty, governing College Board, they keep me up to date on the latest technologies. While I was preening my feathers for successfully navigating facebook, they moved me into the world of Twitter. I will forever be indebted to them for creating an account for me and more importantly, for suffering through my learning curve whose derivative was approximately 1/x. Sorry, that one’s for all of my mathletes.

MWHS breeds a special type of student. Not only are they hard working and intelligent, but they are invested in those around them. They care for each other and create an environment of collaboration amongst all individuals in a classroom, peers and faculty alike. I couldn't be more proud of my students. So no matter what their AP scores say in July, the AP students here at MWHS have already aced the biggest test of all: hard work, perseverance, and the ability to have fun in the midst of it all.

2014 AP Calc Students

If you have a story that you would like to share, please email mwhspride@277apps.org for more information! We would love to hear from you!

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