Although Teacher Appreciation Week was last week we are happy to celebrate our teachers every week in Massachusetts. We spoke with a local teacher Val Joell and asked her a few questions.
Stand: Why did you want to become a teacher?
Val: Through my work at a public education advocacy organization in Philadelphia, I learned about the incredible impact a skilled teacher could have on student achievement. Additionally, I was someone who struggled with math in middle school. Had I not had the exceptional teachers I did, I would not have grown enough to have been able to take advanced math classes in high school. Thus, a combination of the desire to help students achieve incredible outcomes (especially those who have been chronically under-served) and my first hand experience with some amazing educators, inspired me to become a teacher.
Stand: How long have you been teaching?
Val: 4 years
Stand: What is your favorite thing about teaching?
Val: I love being able to help students develop a positive understanding of themselves as mathematicians. For some students it's a matter of fortifying what they already believed about themselves, and for others it can be critical stepping stone in their development as students.
Stand: What was your favorite subject when you were a student?