My name is Christal Perdomo and I am a grad student studying high school math education.

I took a long break from my college education and I am very happy I was able to get back to pursuing my goals as a student in higher education, as well as my career goals of becoming a teacher. So far in my journey, I have learned and re-learned the value of persisting, I have adopted the habit of thinking flexibly when meeting new people and learning new information, and I have tried to keep my spirits high by finding humor and looking for ways that it could be incorporated in daily interactions and instructional practices with students.

Throughout my educational journey I have encountered many obstacles and many mental roadblocks. However, since deciding to go back to college – I have continued to push through the various drawbacks and unplanned changes that have come up. Similarly, in navigating new high-level math courses, the higher education system, and the teacher certification track, I needed to employ the habit of mind of persisting. It has been essential for me to stick to my plans, and find new ways to continue on the intended track. As I mentioned in my response to this specific habit of mind, “I think it’s important to understand that there are different paths to success and that our definition of it will change as we learn and grow.”

Another habit of mind that I have found particularly helpful and also a bit challenging has been to think flexibly. I think that at this stage of my academic journey much of the work I have been doing has been very static and highly predictable. However, in my education courses, I have had to change my perspective of things I thought I knew well so that I could gain deeper understandings. It has been a fun challenge to think about how to plan instruction for those who may not see or understand things the way I do. I hope to be able to continue to push myself to think flexibly so that I may learn how to build enrichment programs and write curriculum for my future students.

Despite all this hard work and need for focus, I have found that humor has been one of the most helpful aspects of my journey. One of the reasons I love working with children is that there will always be humor in the experience. As I mentioned in one of my responses to this specific habit of mind, “Finding humor and incorporating humor into learning helps with engagement and helps build connections among teachers and students.” Finding humor helps us connect when we are still learning about each other.

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Youth Voices is an open publishing and social networking platform for youth. The site is organized by teachers with support from the National Writing Project. Opinions expressed by writers are their own.  See more About Youth VoicesTerms of ServicePrivacy Policy.All work on Youth Voices is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License


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