“Why do you teach math to gifted kids?” – I’ve been hearing this question from a lot of my friends lately, so I decided to answer this question in a form of a video.
If you speak Russian – watch the video here:
If you aren’t a Russian speaker, here’s a quick summary:
I broke up my answer into three parts:
1. Why math? Why not any other subject?
To be honest, I do not care which subject I would be teaching. I just happen to teach math. I liked math and teaching since high school and went on to become a teacher. I am just utilizing the skills that I’ve been gaining for the last 5+ years.
2. Why I teach to gifted kids in special programs, and not in a public school system at this time
I taught at a couple of public schools briefly. It was a great experience. I noticed that at this particular time in my career I would like to focus on teaching the students who are already motivated to learn. This way I spend more time explaining the content and all the cool stuff about math to them instead of spending time to ‘convince’ them that they should learn something
3. What are my goals for my students
Some of my friends assume that I teach math to gifted kids in hope that they will become professional mathematicians, astrophysicists, etc. This is NOT the case. I teach math to them, so they can find out about one of the very many ways to describe and understand the world. I want my students to understand that everything that surrounds us is not completely random, that ideas and concepts have certain structure. I also want them to develop critical thinking.
OR, most of the time I just want to share my excitement about some cool ideas and problems that occur in the field of math.
But why do I teach in general? I’d like to occupy students’ time, so they do not accidentally waste it on useless or mindless activities. That’s the most important reason why I choose to be a teacher. :):)