About Me

Well this is my fourth post and I have been really feeling philosophical lately. Hence the previous posts. However, I know that some of you really don’t know who I am. So I figured I would tell a little bit about myself. I probably won’t be on that long though 😉

First, I went to Emporia State University, graduating with an Elementary Education degree. I started out as a music education major. I love my music, I just couldn’t make it my job. I have taught anywhere from 1-year-olds to 8th grade and also did some substituting at the high school level. I love kids and I love teaching, that’s why I’m here. What is my passion though?

My passion is learning and watching students strive! The past few days have been really great. I’ve had a chance to sit down with students and relax with them while they learn. I feel that if students can be more comfortable, they may do a little better. Is that the best for all? Heck no! Some kids need to sit at a table in a chair to help them stay focused.

Anyway. . . .I am tutoring a student in Geometry. I helped him this past summer get prepared, then let him start the year without me. I was called at the end of September saying he needed help. I’ve been working with him and last night I saw what I have been doing. There are days that you feel as a teacher that you are not doing anything except sitting there looking at blank faces. The past few weeks this student has been working on proofs. Yes, we all love them!!!! He was given 2 problems for the two days. (Yes, only two) They were pretty much identical, and I feel not really pushing them any. We finished both in about 30 minutes. He did great, I didn’t have to help him much. I then grabbed his book and gave him a more difficult proof. The two he had to do had 5 steps each. The one I found? 10 steps. I presented him with the Given and the Prove statements. I then had him just talk out-loud about what he knew, thinking I would have to guide him quite a bit. Boy was I wrong. He sat there and told me what he knew about the triangles and line segments and how he knew them. I was impressed! The guiding I really had to do was help him organize those thoughts on paper and put them in order.

If only every student out there could have a tutor. Someone that they could talk to about what they are learning. That’s what I do with him. He does great and I think it helps him to talk through what he knows to help him learn and write it on paper. However, not every parent has the money to pay for someone to do that. Also, we as teachers cannot always sit down with a student and have that relationship. . . . or can we?

I sat down in class next to a student yesterday and talked about a lesson she was on. Alright, a little insight on my math class. Our school has 1:1 laptops. Their math curriculum is a program online. Each student works at their own pace on the lesson that they need. We have students that take a month to get through a Unit (similar to a chapter), and we have students that take two months to get through a whole curriculum. (I’m not a kidding. I have a 5th grader that started the 6th grade curriculum the last week of September and is taking the 7th grade placement test next week.) There are about 15 – 20 students in a class. Can this be hectic? Of course!! I have that many students on that many different lessons in 5 different math courses. It can be tough to keep up! However, what the students are learning is wonderful.

Ok, back to my story. I sat down on the couch in my room with a student yesterday and talked through a lesson. She didn’t ask for help, I just sat down and started talking about the lesson. I asked her if she understood. She said yes. (She is in Algebra and was working on more than two unknowns.) I looked at her next problem and asked her how to set it up. She was a little lost. So I guided her through the steps that they read about. Taking one step at a time she fully understood what to do. I didn’t give her the answers. I didn’t yell at her for not reading the lesson (which I’m not sure if she did). I took the time to sit down and visit with her about what she was learning. That’s the point, showing kids that I care.

I feel that too many teachers may be out there for the paycheck. I also feel many teachers are out there because they want to coach. That hurts to see. Kids need attention. Sometimes they don’t even get it at home. Show the kids you care!!

See, I told you I would get off of me and onto something else. haha

Back to me. . . . I care for kids. I want to see them learn. I LOVE to see the “ah-ha moments”. Do I make a good amount of money? No. Do I care? Somedays. I’m not in it for the money, I’m in it for the kids. I want them to learn and succeed.

Like I said before, I have taught many different grades. I have seen several students. That’s what I love. I enjoy working with several kids of several ages. I also enjoy the relationships that I make each year with the kids. Teaching is my life. Reaching students and seeing them grow is my passion.

I’m not even sure if this post makes much sense, but I hope it gave you a little insight about me.

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About Anthony Purcell

I am Anthony Purcell and I am currently teaching math in Oklahoma.
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2 Responses to About Me

  1. Pat says:

    Thanks for sharing about yourself! It sounds like you are an awesome teacher and when you get discouraged or frustrated, I hope you come back to this post and read it again and again. This is exactly why we become teachers!

  2. Yes! You get it. This is truly teaching. Not that read and regurgitate stuff. Thanks for posting this. It is good to see that great teachers are out there. Our school has some great ones, but we also have those teachers that have forgotten the purpose behind teaching. I enjoyed this.

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