I’m Lovin’ Math!!

I don’t know too many elementary teachers who can say they LOVE teaching math, but I’m one of them! If you are a crazy math person like me, or many it’s not your favorite subject to teach, read on to find out more about my mathematical journey.

A Little Background: When I first started teaching, my favorite subject to teach was reading. I think I loved it because I was good at it when I was a student, so naturally I liked reading with kids! But I HATED teaching math…it was so hard for me to convey what I wanted kids to learn and I really felt like I didn’t have a solid background in math myself. After my first year of teaching, I felt pretty bad about my math instruction and I knew I needed to do something. But I had no idea what!

Luckily, I came across a summer institute focusing on number and operations…I was teaching 4th grade at the time and the class focused on upper elementary and middle school. But the best part? They would pay ME to go! I didn’t have to front a huge sum of money to start improving my instruction.

The class was ah.maz.ing. I was astounded at everything I didn’t know and even more at the ideas about mathematics that challenged everything I had been taught as a student and even as a pre-service teacher. For the first time IN MY LIFE I was enjoying math…my colleagues and I would take our homework to Starbucks after class and puzzle over problems – trying different solutions and we couldn’t wait to share what we tried the next day! Even though many of the people in our class were math teachers at the middle school level, all ideas were respected and we never felt like “lowly” elementary teachers. I left the two weeks feeling energized and ready to teach math in the fall!

Luckily for me, that class turned into a master’s degree program funded by grants. I am so lucky to say that my master’s was inexpensive but also the best thing I could have done for my teaching at the time.

Now…10 years later, math is my favorite subject to teach! I always tease kids at the beginning of the year that if math isn’t their favorite subject right now, it will be by the end of the year!

That master’s program has ended, but I am still lucky to be involved with the university in a mathematics teacher leadership program. Some of you probably saw my posts last week on the blog, Instagram and Facebook about math class…{here}.

Showing my work!

Made our own manipulatives!

Starbucks is an essential part of math class.

Working in groups!
These math classes have been a favorite part of my summer for a long time!

I feel pretty lucky that I was able to take what I hated and turn it into my passion. I’d love to hear your story about math…do you love it? Hate it? Somewhere in between? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. Sara Kovach

    I love math too!! I have always been good at math – was always my favorite subject. But, I have always loved to read too! I have a Master's in reading, but still prefer to teach math. I think it is because it is more concrete for me. Reading can be so abstract.

    I have found a wonderful book for addressing the abstractness in reading though: Comprehension Connections: Bridges to Strategic Reading by Tanny McGregor.

  2. Jenna Watley

    I need to take those classes! I still am not fond of math, and would much rather teacher reading and writing! You go girl!

  3. Hi Sara! I agree with you about reading…there's nothing concrete about it!

    Thank you for the reading suggestion! I'll check it out. 🙂


  4. Hi Jenna! It was amazing to me how much my confidence grew in teaching math once I took some classes…it's my first time at one from NCTM, but I'll let you know! So far, it's been great. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!


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