To teach is to serve God. I do it with humility, passion and enthusiasm. It is humbling for me to teach, inspire, influence, encourage and love my students. This past year, I stepped out of my comfort as an educator to high school mathematics students and entered a Ph.D. Program at the Seattle Pacific University. I was offered the opportunity to share my practical experiences as an educator to university students who have a desire to pursue education as their career. I was humbled by the prospect to inspire future educators so I gratefully accepted challenge. It was my mission to provide them with a strong educational foundation that will effectively demonstrate confidence, competence and passion when they are in the instructional environment. My vocation as a university instructor is certainly a rewarding one, however, I quickly learned the challenge is unique and does not compare to teaching high school students. As I reflect on my teaching schedule, my knowledge and expertise as an educator are resources I am able to integrate in the classroom. My students belong to the Alternate Route to Certification (ARC), Masters in Teaching Mathematics and Science (MTMS), and Masters of Arts in Teaching (MAT) programs. Knowledge of their background, endorsement and grade level of teaching helps me to mold my instruction to address best practices specific to their needs. I especially enjoy learning about the effect of the various instructional strategies and reflective tools they are able to utilize during their internship through reflections and class discussions. I am grateful to teach students who have a desire to make a difference. This has become a vital means to my educational goal and has opened up an array of future opportunities to explore.
The author, Nalline Baliram, taught high school mathematics for 14 years at a private Christian school in Boca Raton, Florida. she earned a Bachelor’s in Mathematics at Florida Atlantic University and a Masters of Science in Mathematics Education at Florida State University. Nalline is currently pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy in Teacher Preparation at Seattle Pacific University. She enjoys teaching and influencing students who have a desire to learn.