My Math Autobiography

My name is Ashley McMurchy.  I am a third year education student at the University of Regina, majoring in Mathematics and minoring in Business.  I was born in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, where I grew up for most of my life.  For two years, I lived in Moose Jaw and now I live in Regina while I am completing my degree at the University of Regina.

Even before school started, I have always enjoyed math.  Whether I was playing computer games such as “Math Muncher” or looking at my older brother’s math work, math has always been something that I was interested in.

My actual math background includes all the math classes that I could have possibly taken in both elementary and high school (yes even calculus!), and as well as 8 math and 3 education math classes at the university level.  One thing about the university math classes is that I didn’t enjoy them as much as the math classes I had taken in high school.  Well actually, it wasn’t every university math class that I didn’t enjoy, but it was more of the classes with proofs and required more abstract thinking where there was no actual math involved, like with formulas or numbers.  This feeling was also more towards the beginning and middle of the classes, but towards the end I began to understand it more and actually started to enjoy it a little (keyword “a little”).

Although I have always enjoyed math, being the main reason for my career choice, I did not truly understand the full importance of math or have a true passion for it up until last year in one of my education math classes.  Previously, I had thought that math was just fun and that I would need to use it outside of school.  Although some of that thought was true, what I had learned about the importance of math is that it also creates and develops skills that you will need to help you become successful in all aspects of both school and life, such as critical thinking skills and problem solving skills.  This new way of thinking has definitely impacted my view of teaching math, but one challenge that I will face this semester in my pre-internship will be to actually apply that in my teaching.  This is going to be a real challenge for me and I know this because in my previous teaching experiences, I had gone in with new knowledge and understandings but each time I taught, I continually reverted back to the way my teachers had taught me, which was the straight forward lecture followed by practice problems/homework, and I never actually applied any of my new knowledge or understandings.

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