Mayte Rodriguez - University of Houston
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Mayte Rodriguez

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How did you choose your path to teaching - did you always want to be a teacher?

"I chose the path to teaching as my family and I always saw it as a prestigious career. Teaching was not my first choice as I entered college with a love for mathematics but did not know how to utilize the skill in the real world. Once I began participating in community service events from UH via the College of Education and the Mathematics department, I decided majoring in Teaching and Learning would be a good fit."

What does your day to day look like at your teaching job?

"Before the pandemic, my day consisted of running about for copies, updating my class website, and making sure all my students had the necessary resources. My routine consisted of preparing my Algebra 1 students for the maturity of high school, while my 8th math students filled in their gaps in understanding to have a solid foundation. Once school campuses closed, technology has become a highlight of my day-to-day. I host live class through Microsoft teams and communicate with students virtually 4 times a week."

What are the modern skills teachers possess? Or which ones do you rely on the most to excel as a teacher?

"Due to the current times, the modern skills that all teachers should have is to be comfortable with technology. Although many experienced teachers have their own resources and strategies, the use of technology is revolutionizing the education field."

"Preparation is one of the most important skills to have because one of the most terrible feelings as a teacher is to confuse a child. Students of various backgrounds already go through unique situations at home, and mathematics may not be one of their top priorities. Thus, preparing engaging activities and utilizing concise examples will prevent confusion."

"Tolerance: working with middle school students will always be a unique experience, There will be students willing to test one's patience and sometimes that is a cry for help and sympathy. Tolerance is something that is acquired with time by truly listening to the student and knowing the details before making negative assumptions"

What advice do you have for your fellow Coogs about life after graduation or searching for jobs?

"Take advantage of all available resources before leaving, attend mock interviews, attend at least one career fair, and have a counselor look at both resume and teaching portfolio/ Keep all usernames and passwords saved and appropriate when building profiles for job applications as districts use different systems. Finally, do not be a coy about asking for a reference as long as you have a resume to provide to the professionals asked."

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