Each
fall I teach the mathematics (education) course, Geometry for Teachers. For
students in our secondary certification program, this is usually the first
mathematics education course that they take.
On the first day of class every fall semester, I assign their first
journal entry, which asks them to respond to the question, “Why do you want to
be a math teacher?”

Their
responses are always the highlight of that first week of classes as I feel like
I get to know each of them better and I get hope for our future. Below I have created a “top ten” list from
their most common reasons.

**Top Ten Reasons #Math261 Students want to be a Math Teacher**

1.
Be
a role model for students and help them become better people.

2.
Help
people succeed.

3.
Carry
on my love of math to others.

4.
Challenge
my students.

5.
Make
math interesting.

6.
Had
a positive math experience in high school and want other students to have that
same opportunity.

7.
Get
to work with kids of all ages every day.

8.
Be
a part of improving education.

9.
Help
build students’ confidence in their ability to do mathematics.

10.
Change
society’s attitude towards mathematics.

I
also wanted to share some specific quotes from their responses that stood out
to me.

·
“I
had never thought that my sharing knowledge and understanding of math could
change a student’s life so much.”

·
“All
in all, I want to be a math teacher because I love math and teaching is the
best way in which I feel I could use utilize my strengths to make a significant
contribution to society.”

·
“I
want to teach students how to problem solve so that no matter what career they
choose, they can use the skills that were developed in my classroom.”

·
“My
goal is to find a way to challenge my students, make the subject
understandable, present the topic with useful everyday occurrences, and, most
importantly, make math interesting.”