A Brief (and somewhat hyperbolized) History
Michael Piper made his entry into life at a military hospital close to Piney Point, Maryland. Two weeks after his birth, his family was relocated to Adak, Alaska. Michael's parents, noticing that he became unusually quiet after the move, consulted a pediacryogenologist (Alaskan doctor who specializes in children) and decided it was in their child's best interest to bring him to Virginia so that he might defrost. Two Alaskan weeks later (two years standard time), Michael was brought to Virginia. Here Michael received his first reward as best ice sculpture for the month of April. A decade long period ensued, later known as the Pax Adulescentia, followed by three years of turmoil and discord, known forever by all as middle school. Granby High School, established in 1939 as a halfway house to adulthood or the resemblance thereof, granted Michael enrollment, hoping to integrate him into the norms of society. Achieving success similar to that of all government programs, they applauded him for surviving their efforts and quickly swept him under the figurative American carpet. Michael crawled around in the dark for a while in search of the extra parts Granby's mechanics of human nature had tossed aside. Three ambiguous years followed, and Michael met Ms. Stacie Williams. A beautiful relationship evolved, and Stacie's name was changed to Mrs. Stacie Piper. Originally having hopes of starting a farm, they bought their first livestock, two guinea pigs. As with many livestock ventures, Stacie became attached to the animals, and Michael has since been in negotiations with his wife over whether the guinea pigs are indeed livestock, or as Stacie would call them, "the babies". Seeing that this path had little hope, his wife and he decided it would be best for him to return to college and finish his degree as a means of long term financial planning.
Introspection for Public Dispersal
Although my major is in Mathematics, I have a wide variety of interests. I read a good deal, and enjoy classical literature as well as a lot of modern literature. Tinkering and troubleshooting are major hobbies of mine. I like the challenge of figuring things out, especially if it involves learning something new. I look forward to education as a career because it allows me to take part in shaping the next generation. I enjoy seeing people learn, and not simply to take tests, but to see the look of fascination as they begin to understand the world around them and inside them. I want to teach math specifically because I feel that it is a subject that holds great potential to leave people in awe and wonder, and yet is often taught as cold and methodical.
A Personal Philosophy of Education
Three things are fundamental to being a good teacher: a passion for the subject you teach, a passion for the students you teach, and the ability to recognize and remove stumbling blocks that would keep them from understanding and enjoying the subjects being presented to them. Most teachers struggle not because of a lack of passion for their subject or their students, but because they lack the ability to ignite the passion for the subject in their students. Students are often afraid of learning and the potential failure from trying. It is also common for them to see no significance in the subject they're supposed to learn. The teachers goal is to build up the students' confidence in their ability to learn and understand, as well as providing a foundation for the usefulness of the material they are presenting. This is accomplished by designing lessons that address these misunderstandings and misconceptions, that express the material in a way that benefits a variety of learning types, recognizing the goal of teaching a class while not losing sight of its individuals, and presenting and linking concepts to students so that they understand them as parts of a complete final product of the course.