March 8, 2021
Math is a subject students love or hate, and some really struggle with it.
When I was in Kindergarten, I wrote a journal entry about not wanting to be an astronaut because I wanted to be a teacher.
I’ve been working in education for 12 years, and my Mom still has that journal entry.
When I graduated from UMaine Farmington, it was the height of the recession. I bounced around to different schools, but I got a job 9 years ago teaching Title I math.
I’d always had anxiety about math, and I never thought I’d be teaching it, but I think that’s why I fell into the role. I feel like I can connect with the kids who struggle because I was one of them. It’s such a privilege to be the person to help them learn to love math.
Every day in education is different and presents new challenges. It's such an exciting profession and for anyone exploring it, I’d encourage them to stick with it. There are days when you ask yourself if you’re doing the right thing for your students and yourself, but you have to know and believe that no matter what, you are making a difference.
I work really hard to teach, but for me the reward comes in seeing the effort the students put into their own learning. When lightbulb moments happen, I can’t help but share the joy because our work and effort is combined.
When I have a student that says they love math enough where they want to pursue it as a career, that's the most rewarding thing I can hear.
- Ashley Damboise, Fairfield School