edu180atl: megan hayes-golding
Today I learned to say “quadratic function” and “solution” in Arabic and Nepali. This type of learning is fortunately pretty common where I work (Clarkston High near Stone Mountain). I’m so lucky to teach there because my students come from all over the world. They speak dozens of different languages. We don’t really have a single dominant language group.
I’m not going to lie—I know exactly how lucky I am to teach math to students learning English. I know it’s a little simpler than the task in front of my colleagues over in Language Arts or Social Studies (heck, even Science has a tough road). We get to work in a universal language most of the time (just don’t get me started on word problems that test obscure vocabulary like “toss a coin” rather than math reasoning).
The best part of teaching my students is when they show me a novel way to solve a problem that’s standard procedure in their home country. Students from Nepal, in particular, have shown me so much about algebraic operations.
I invite you to visit Clarkston sometime. Enjoy our many international restaurants and Triftown, the international grocery store at the heart of our town. Get a feel for the community I am lucky enough to serve daily.
Megan Hayes-Golding (@mgolding) teaches math and physics at Clarkston High in DeKalb County. The school is the only thing more diverse than her interests: she also coaches JV boys’ soccer & sponsors the Muslim Student Association. Megan blogs at http://kalamitykat.com.