Sunday, May 17, 2015

Learning and growing

This week was less busy. I gave my first exam to my students. Some of them did really well, but one of my classes did not do well at all. I have tried everything, but have come to realize that somehow they need to practice what they learn more. So, I am now giving them more time in class to work through problems together and it has helped a lot. I also told them to come pick up their test in my office. they never come to my office to ask questions, so, I hope this will motivate them to come. So, I have been super busy in my office because I am constantly having students come to see me, but it is good.  I have been able to visit with some of them and get to know them and it has been wonderful.

We had a teacher training the other day with a man who clarified to me why the learning model BYU-I has really works. He gave us a physics question and told us to discuss it together and it really made me curious as to what the answer was, even though I am not a physicist.  I'll have to think of better ways to develop that curiosity in my students.  There is not much you can do with calculus, especially if your students hate it, but I will try.

I know that more than Math, my students learn more important things at this university. I hope they learn life skills, and develop faith in Jesus Christ. Developing faith in Jesus Christ is the first mission of BYU-I. That is why the other day I shared an experience with my students about a Muslim woman who taught me about faith.  What I shared had an impact on one of my students.  I think aside from grades and math, it is these moments that make teaching worthwhile.  Making a difference in someone's life! 

However, maybe the most important thing is having my life change by being here. It is wonderful to be able to learn and grow spiritually during every day meetings and classes. That is the great thing about teaching in a church university.

I want to share a quote from Elder Bednar.  He shared it during the Q&A meeting he had the other day with the youth. I shared that quote with my students...I love quotes about math! 
"The Holy Ghost is the perfect teacher, He is the ultimate teacher. I would even go so far as to say He is the only teacher ultimately that matters. The Gospel is about learning and growing and changing. The essence of the gospel is pressing forward to learn more to become better.
As you pursue whatever you may study in school whether it be mathematics or history or whatever topic, the Holy Ghost can bring all things to your remembrance. That is the scriptural description of His work. Well, that works for Mathematics. IF you have worked diligently to put principles of mathematics into your mind, then when you need to take a test or apply those principles,… the gift of the Holy Ghost can be an assist to you in using those things for righteousness."

I have had help from the Holy Ghost about how to teach and I know that He can help us in every aspect of our lives.  The gospel is really about learning and changing and growing.  

I must say I have been watching too much TV. I never used to watch TV, but here every time I want a break from preparing for classes I watch something on TV. That has to change and I need to be reading or doing more productive things! 

I have met some people here, but often don't have the motivation to go to some of the activities they have going on.  I get home from classes really exhausted and don't feel like doing anything. I should do stuff now while the weather is good. Because I am definitely not going anywhere when it gets cold. I should do something fun during the 3-day weekend coming up I guess, but I have not found anyone to do that with. I may just take a drive on my own or something. We will see.
My mother is doing amazingly well. She just had some medical tests done and she has never been better. I am very grateful for that.  It is such a blessing to not have to worry about her health.  My aunt Amal, however, is not doing well. She has heart problems and other issues.


  1. This summer when you have a break come on down to Bear Lake and spend a couple of days here. We'll take you fishing.

  2. It all sounds stressful, yet threaded with significant experiences that reflect your ability to connect meaningfully with your students . . . even in Calculus. That must be gratifying.

  3. Do you knit or crochet? It's a good activity for sitting down and relaxing while being productive, and for me, knitting is time spent thinking of the person I'm making this thing for, working love into every stitch. It makes time into something real and tangible and warm. Let me know if you need any soft wool yarn.

  4. One other thing--knitting is very mathematical. And you learn something new every time, which keeps it interesting.