Provide a few examples of how you ensure math is relevant to students. Do you know how to answer this difficult teacher interview question?
It is important that the response you give to the job interview question is truthful, relevant to the position, and shows value to the school district. The following could be a possible answer… or it may provide some ideas for you to tailor your response:
“There is a large proportion of students who claim to hate math or find math difficult and uninteresting. I believe this stigma has been brought on math because of the way it is taught. If teachers only lecture and only use the math textbook to teach students their subject matter, it will definitely seem dry, boring, and abstract.
However, if you can make math relevant to students, then it can become more interesting and, as a result, less scary and boring to students. When teaching other subjects, I always implement math across the curriculum.
“Mathematics should be taught as a tool for solving open-ended and interesting problems instead of simply as a series of computations. To this end, I strive to have my students spending time in class with problem-solving and pattern-finding activities. Students are much more motivated to complete problems that are relevant and applicable to real life.
A student wants to know why they are learning specific math concepts. If students aren’t sure about where or how to apply what they are learning, what motivation is there to stay engaged? Finding practical math problems is important and allows students to apply their learning. Teaching meaning ensuring math is relevant to the students.
Even having students create and solve their own problems is a good start. Students need to understand that what they are learning in math class is relevant. When beginning each math unit, I explain to my students the skills they will be learning and what skills they will need to possess, ready to move forward. Additionally, I will show students how these skills can be applied or are applied in the real world.
“Additionally, math manipulatives and games are an important tool in making math fun and relevant to students. Games allow students to use learned skills, such as, but not limited to: numeracy, collaborative teamwork, and critical thinking skills. There are online math games and board games relevant to what is being taught in the classrooms. For example, games like Battleship can help teach algebra quadrants and axis.”
How do you ensure math is relevant to students? Share some examples in the comments below.