EMS 470 is an academic class in the professional block that will require scholarly work as in other university courses. You must demonstrate intellectual understanding of the subject matter through readings, reports, homework, discussions, and projects. The main emphasis of this course will be on helping you acquire professional teaching skills. In this regard, you are receiving job training. Soon, you will be teacher to more than 100 students! Now, you may not fully appreciate the significance of changing from your role as university student to that of mathematics teacher. You may also not understand the effect this metamorphosis will have on your self-image. But students, teachers, counselors, administrators, and parents at your school will relate to you as they would any other teacher. They will expect you to assume the demeanor, bearing, duties, and responsibilities of a public school teacher. You are expected to demonstrate through your actions that you are ready to enter the profession of mathematics teaching. Exhibiting qualities of initiative, willingness to take on responsibilities, assertiveness, promptness, cheerfulness, consideration of others, independence, and a love of hard work are indicators that you are seriously preparing to teach mathematics. These qualities should be exhibited in your school visits and in our class time together.
Some of the content found in this course is included because it will prepare you for your internship. However, preparation for the profession must include content that grows in value over time as you continue teaching. In your career you will be asked to set curricular policy, choose textbooks, write curriculum materials, develop school- or system-wide tests, counsel students and parents, participate in school self-studies, and participate and provide leadership in professional organizations such as NCCTM, NCTM, NCSTA, NSTA, and SSMA.
During our time together, it is my hope that you become part of a community of learners who are committed to learning about teaching and learning through reading, writing, discussing, and collaborating. Your overall involvement in the course includes the following:
- Intellectual risk taking: demonstrated willingness to offer and pursue ideas and suggestions that go beyond the ordinary
- Making connections: demonstrated ability to connect the theoretical and the practical, to relate specific ideas to larger themes
- Thinking clearly on paper: demonstrated proficiency in expressing ideas, organizing information, and communicating in writing
- Contributing to the community: demonstrated willingness to share information and ideas with the group and to support others in their efforts to build understanding
- Commitment to developing listening and speaking skills: demonstrated effort to develop effective speaking skills and active listening and responding skills.
- Commitment to exploring new ways to think about teaching and learning mathematics: demonstrated willingness to being open to trying out new ways of teaching mathematics and to allowing students opportunities to make sense of mathematics.