I never teach my pupils, I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn.
I would like to think that I am my father's daughter. When I was growing up, I wanted to be just like him. He had a rough exterior, yet he was gentle and kind. He was an alcoholic in his youth; but, I did not know him then. He was forty-nine years old when I was born.
He was patient in the math department as well. In second grade, I had the most horrific time trying to multiply by any number. I just could not understand groups of things. That is until he taught me how to multiply by fives. He asked me if I could count by fives; naturally, at that point, I really did not understand what he was saying. "Okay," He said, "How about the clock? Can you tell me what the numbers mean in minutes?"
I understood that completely.
I suppose the biggest reason I teach mathematics is because of my son. When he was in 9th or 10th grade, he was having difficulty with some problems. I took time to explain how I would solve the math problems. I did not give him the answers; however, I did give him the steps to solve the answers. He told me that day that I should be a math teacher because I helped him understand!
I teach math because I know how important it is to know how to multiply, add, subtract, and divide (not in that order) in every day life. I do not teach math to solve math problems. I teach math because the skills you learn in problem-solving will help my brilliant math stars go far in life.