Blog #47 – TEACHING MY CHILDREN

During my teaching career, I had the opportunity to teach all three of my children. I was their Pre Calculus and Calculus teacher. Each of them was also a member of my mathematics team for four years. My children were treated like every other student. They were asked to respond to questions that I would ask them. When grading their test papers, I expected them to provide the same degree of explanation to their solutions as I did for everyone else in class. It is interesting to note that they never once asked me a question while in class. In fact, they also made a conscious effort to never ask me any mathematics questions when they were at home. I was fortunate that my children were very well disciplined, so there were never any discipline issues in the classroom.

During the 4 years that they were on my mathematics team, their teammates were incredulous that each of my children was treated exactly as other members of the team. During that time frame I never once provided them any extra coaching at home. When it came to me selecting members of the team to represent our school, my children and their teammates had to achieve the same level of excellence I required from everyone. I knew that each of them felt added pressure to perform well in class and in mathematics contests because I was their father. I tried my best to relieve some of that pressure by telling them that I wanted them to follow 2 simple rules that I have followed all my life. First, they were to do what they enjoyed. Second, they were to only to do the best that they could. I praised them in the classroom and as members of my mathematics team the same as everyone else. I never used negative remarks with them or any of the other students.

It is interesting to note that they never called me “Mr. Ramirez” in either scenario. I loved that after the class they would approach me and say, “Goodbye papi”. I made sure that each knew that I loved them and that their treatment as students in the classroom or as members of my mathematics team would reflect the same expectations of everyone that I taught or coached. I am happy to say that all 3 of them excelled in the classroom and as members of my mathematics team.

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