My current teaching assignment is at John C. Fremont Senior High School, located in South Central Los Angeles. The typical student is Latino with an average to below average grasp of fundamental math concepts. High school students are required to pass the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE) in order to have a diploma conferred on them.
California students, overall, are failing miserably. Last school year, I discovered that one area in particular (Probability and Statistics), comprised 16% of the test, yet these subjects might not have been addressed since the seventh grade. Each year, it is amazing to me that at least 20-40% of my classes struggle with their times tables, fractions, percents, and decimals. The lack of motivation on the part of my students is disturbing.
My mission is to not only follow the curriculum as set forth by the California Department of Education and Los Angeles Unified School District, but to shore up gaps in student’s prior learning. Subjects such as Probability and Statistics are covered so more students have the knowledge that is asked of them on the CAHSEE. Additionally, I strive to incorporate enrichment activities into my lessons.
Due to seniority at Fremont, I usually teach lower-level math courses (Algebra 1 and/or Geometry). I would like to teach Algebra 2 or even Calculus and many of my students ask me why I do not. The “up” side of teaching these courses, especially Algebra 1, is that there is more time available and we can go deeper into concepts throughout the term.
One of my primary goals is to earn a Pupil Personnel Services Credential and become a high school counselor. I especially want to be a college counselor. I enjoy matching people to careers. This would put me in a key position to identify and steer certain students, that might be well suited, towards a career in engineering.