The Inspirational Untold Stories of Secondary Mathematics Teachers

Edited by:
Alice F. Artzt, Queens College of the City University of New York
Frances R. Curcio, Queens College of the City University of New York

Published 2020

Personal story telling is a powerful and interesting medium through which one can share experiences, insights, successes, and difficulties in meaningful contexts. Teaching in general, and mathematics teaching in particular, is much more than what meets the eye. Most people have only experienced teaching from the vantage point of a student and have impressions of teachers and teaching that are simplistic and usually totally incorrect. The lives of mathematics teachers are varied and contrary to what one might think they are. The journeys of exemplary in-service teachers are not linear; there are many bends, potholes, and detours through which they have navigated. The "road conditions" of teaching are fodder for the 12 untold stories collected in this volume, whose authors graduated from a special four-year undergraduate mathematics teacher preparation program, containing innovative components, many of which are revealed through the experiences described in their stories. The range of narratives vary in every possible way, from the reasons they became mathematics teachers, to the number of years teaching, to the experiences encountered while teaching, to the different roles they have assumed throughout their careers. Nevertheless, one strand permeates all of the stories: their passion for what they do and their ability to reflect on early college experiences that contribute to their performance. These inspiring narratives will shed light on the developmental processes of mathematics teachers, what it means to teach mathematics, and the components of a secondary mathematics teacher preparation program that can contribute to their expertise.

Praise for The Inspirational Untold Stories of Secondary Mathematics Teachers:

This lovely book contains personal stories about the process of becoming a mathematics teacher and the challenges and rewards of the early years of teaching. These stories highlight that the path to teaching is often indirect, rocky, and filled with doubts. But these poignant stories are powerful because they are so honest. I wish I’d read these stories before I experienced some of the joys and challenges of my early years of teaching because they would have prepared me for the roller coaster of emotion associated with entering this complex but beautiful profession. I think these stories will be helpful when working with prospective and early career teachers.
Randolph Philipp
Professor of Mathematics Education
School of Teacher Education, San Diego State University
Immediate Past President, Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators (AMTE)

This is a book about real people and true stories; the narratives are really insightful and truly inspirational. It is not only a book that those involved in teacher preparation programs may find useful and informative to read, but also a book that could provide insights and inspiration to those who are exploring what it is like to be a teacher. The journey of each of these success stories, despite the diverse starting point of each, speaks volumes of the importance of an effective teacher preparation program that not only nurtures but also provides support for the growth of the preservice teachers. The narratives in this book are certainly a testimonial to what we often hear–Teachers are more often made than born.
Ngan Hoe Lee
Associate Professor, Mathematics & Mathematics Education
National Institute of Education, Singapore

Endorsements. Foreword. Preparing Secondary Mathematics Teachers. More Than a Teacher, Maria Leon Chu. From the Mirror To the SmartBoard, Angelina Ezratty. My Unexpected Happiness, Daniel De Sousa. A Journey in Defining My Inner Teacher, Irina Kimyagarov. Daring to Lead: A Story of Early Leadership Development, Mara P. Markinson. La Historia: Shaded by Violence, Julio Penagos. Good-Bye Shyness, Hello Teaching, Michael London. Tutoring to Teaching and Back Again, Nerline Payen. Faculty Support Goes a Long Way, Young Mee Kim. Challenges, Surprises, and Successes, Kendal Askins. I Could Only Imagine, Sabrina Joseph. The Power of Caring, Alexandria Capozzoli. References. About the Authors. Index.