I posted this on the gen ed form but I thought I'd post it here too. This question was on an application (not much room to write the answer) The first question was: When you think about your students, in what major ways do you most want to influence their lives? Then the question I'm stuck on is: What two core teaching strategies do you most use to achieve this result?

How about you want them to become critical thinkers or problem solvers then you use think alouds or modelling to work on that...

Well... first you DO have to answer the first question (because it DOES have to relate). What influence do you want to be? I have longer answers- but a short version is: resourcefulness, perseverance, and life-long learning. Then what strategies would I use? "When in doubt-check it out" (dictionary/internet research skills) ... perseverance (critical thinking challenges that require trial and error) ... life-long learning (modeling and encouraging wonder, inquiry, and discovery).

I know that in 10 years, many of them won't remember the math I'm currently teaching them. So I hope I'm teaching them how to think, and an appreciation for the world around them. I hope they're learning how to organize mathematical information, to see patterns and effectively find solutions. Real life may never present them with a scenario involving "2 trains leaving Chicago..." but it will, most definitely, presnet them with new scenarios where they'll need to use the same problem solving skills. I also want them to look back at my class as a place where learnng was important, but not as important as real life. Where bullying was not tolerated, where I demanded and showed respect for each person in the room. Where we joked a bit and had fun while still accomplishing our work. Where there was an adult who cared and a listening ear for those times when one was needed.