Learning is an iterative process, a personal journey of discovery that requires many trials. I grow together with my students. They have helped me understand who I am as a teacher, a coach, and a mentor. What I learned from them directly impacted the way I view teaching.

The students have shared with me that (in their own reflections) "A big part of learning math is to help one's mind grow in terms of how to learn new concepts better." "While regimented, math is diverse, as there are many ways to solve the same problem." "Math isn't about being right or wrong. It's nice to have the right answer but the real point of learning is to teach you why the correct answer is right." "To understand a given equation and then use the patterns and formulas we have stored can be a metaphor to understanding people and everyday situations." "I was used to being average in math so I stayed there and didn't really realize I had the power to develop and break free as a stronger mathematical student." "The more I do problems, the better my confidence gets." "What became important to me as I got older was not necessarily the grade I received, but the amount of understanding I took away from my work input." "The most beneficial aspect about taking college math courses is the ability to conceptualize ideas better and think more abstractly in order to solve problems in everyday life even if they are not math-related."

I value our mutual trust and respect, our common ground for exchanging ideas and discovering together. Whether it's mandatory or out of interest, we are building this ship together. I have to teach my crew to "yearn for the vast and endless sea"*. When my crew wants the changes I envision, we build a ship that can go the distance and develop a workforce that is enthusiastically on deck. When I engage their creative potential, we build a stronger and faster ship than I designed at the beginning of this journey.

*If you want to build a ship, don't drum up your men to collect wood and give orders and distribute the work. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea. -- Antoine de Saint Exupéry, author of "The Little Prince"