I am a student teacher in my final year of University in a midsize Canadian city. I want to be a math teacher in order to break students' misconceptions about mathematics and show them how fun math can be.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

What's with all the dinosaurs?

From both my screen name, Ms. Philosoraptor, and my blog name, normalcurvasaurus, you can probably surmise that I love dinosaurs (especially velociraptors), math and philosophy.  That would be a slight understatement.  I wanted my blog name to represent my love of these three things, including my love of teaching.  Ever since I was little, I have wanted to become a teacher.  We used to have a fisher price chalkboard in our basement where I would teach my little brother and sister how to add, subtract, multiply and divide.  I also used to give them homework (which they would never complete!) because I liked to mark each question right or wrong to show them where they went wrong and what the right answer was.  I hope my teaching skills have improved since then and I won’t be giving homework that can be so easily marked as right or wrong.  I want my students to become thinkers, and actually THINK about the mathematics they are doing.  I do not want them to just plug numbers into a formula and come up with some answer (which may or may not be realistic) and have no idea what that answer represents.  This is where the ‘philosophy’ component of my blog comes into play.  I took a few philosophy courses in University, I was even planning on minoring in philosophy until I realized there are very few schools that offer philosophy courses where I live (I think just one) and that would not give me an edge in the extremely competitive job market we have.  However, while taking these courses, I realized how closely philosophy is related to mathematics and logical reasoning.  Philosophy involves reasoning from what is known to deduce other facts or truths.  This is what I want my students to be able to do. 

Why normalcurvasaurus you ask? Well, I don’t really have a good reason for that other than it incorporates mathematics and dinosaurs and that is good enough for me!

I guess now would be the time to explain why I love dinosaurs so much.  My parents bought a set of dinosaur books for us to read when we were little.  Each book described a different dinosaur and that is where it all started.  My brother and sister and I then started watching The Land Before Time series, which involved animated dinosaurs getting into trouble and singing.  Then, the first Jurassic Park movie came out.  I began to get really interested in velociraptors, including their hunting and communication techniques which seemed to be really advanced for a ‘primitive’ animal.  Anyways, long story short, and since this is supposed to be a blog about mathematics and mathematics teaching, I love dinosaurs, especially velociraptors. 
(I may or may not have a light blue t-shirt with the above normalcurvisaurus image on it.)

So there you have it.  That is where my blog name and screen name originate.

Now, why did I decide to blog?

I have been stalking reading mathematics blogs for a while.  I believe it first started with Math Teacher Mambo and grew from there.  I then set up googlereader and now follow and read over 150 mathematics blogs (yes I just went and counted, does googlereader tell you this information somewhere??).  I decided to blog to write about my own experiences with teaching, starting with student teaching this year and hopefully growing to ‘actual’ teaching next year when I get my teaching certificate and hopefully *fingers crossed* get a full time teaching position.  I also wanted to join in all the fun that you guys seem to be having!


  1. Love the normalcurvisaurus picture! Good luck with getting a full time position next year! I finished teachers' college 2 years ago, and unfortunately (and fortunately) are jumping through the hoops right now -- hopefully toward a permanent position.

    I have no idea how to find out how many blogs are subscribed to in google reader -- nevermind, I just took a bit longer to explore (I am new to the blogging world as well), and I found out how to quickly identify the number of blogs you follow! while in google reader, click on the gear symbol near the top right. Then click on "reader settings." From there, go to the tab that's called "subscriptions." Under the tabs it should tell you "all (your number) subscriptions."

    Woot, I learned something new.

  2. Thanks for the support! This year, I am planning on putting my all into student teaching and hopefully getting hired at the school I am student teaching at. The administration said that they had hired 4 teachers this year who were student teachers the previous year - so it looks like I have pretty good odds!

  3. Lol @ normalcurvasaurus! The picture made me laugh! I like your enthusiasm. Don't ever lose that!