- I’m currently a teacher, in my third fourth
fifthninth year of teaching. I’ve taught at 3 4 schools including the one I spent a year at as a student teacher. I have three secondary academic credentials.
- I primarily teach high school math: algebra 2, trigonometry, pre-calc, with the occasional dose of geometry, algebra, or pre-algebra.
- I also teach US History and English Language Learners.
- For ten years, I was a private tutor and test prep instructor, teaching every major test except the MCAT. I worked for multiple companies and private clients simultaneously, tutoring in all academic subjects except science.
- I have extensive experience teaching a wide range of subjects to Asian American and Hispanic high schoolers. My experience working with African American high schoolers is primarily in math topics, and the sample size is much smaller; there just aren’t a lot of African Americans in my area. I have experience teaching every academic subject but science to whites from fifth grade to high school. I’ve also taught test prep (GRE, LSAT, GMAT) to college graduates. The mental ability of my students ranges from barely functional with IQs just at or slightly below 90 to genius.
- I’m a parent. I was a suburban parent of an originally under-achieving son long before I became a teacher and, as a teacher, I am extremely sensitive to the aggravations of the suburban parent.
- I have two Master’s degrees, neither of which I found terribly difficult, and I do not do well in formal education.
- Neither of my parents graduated from college, and I am the only college graduate of their four children. Only one of my uncles or aunts is a college graduate, and only 4 of my 21 cousins. My grandfather was a college graduate, and my son will be. Real. Soon. Now. has an Economics degree. (whoohoo!) We’ve all done quite well for ourselves, with or without college degrees. My attitude towards education is best described as utilitarian. I snicker when people speak of the joys of lifelong learning as a goal for the general population.
- I’ve been registered as a Republican since 2000, although the first time I voted for a Republican presidential candidate was 2008. I’m not conservative–I say that not in disdain, merely to ensure understanding. I am not a fan of the left; I have disliked and in many cases despised it long before I registered as a Republican. The best way to describe my political outlook would be “Skeptic”.
- My content knowledge is pretty extensive. My IQ, for what it’s worth, is somewhere above 3SD–I was selected for this study, which had these results. But my spatial and visual abilities are much weaker than the other tested IQ areas, which holds me back in really advanced math*.
I am, in short, pretty smart. No one knows better than I do that “smart” and $4 gets you a large latte at Peets. Smart is useful to me, but I don’t feel even slightly superior. I am one of the many under-achieving white folk of the world.
- For most of my working life I was self-employed or a contract worker. I liked it. Still do; I have several part-time jobs.
- I like to argue about interesting topics. I find almost everything interesting.
- I have to fight the urge to smack people who declare that reading is objectively superior to watching TV or movies.
- “You were right” are words I get a lot. If only people delivered them more in the present tense, and took my advice first. Alas.
January 1, 2012