At the beginning of my freshman year of high school at my cyber school, Commonwealth Charter Academy, I was anxious and a little bit intimidated by the thought of becoming a freshman, the daunting amount of different classes I had, as well as the lengthy projects we were introduced to. The conflicting and confusing class schedules, intimidating teachers and the handful of uninteresting classes I had were enough to make me sick of the thought of school within the first month or so of the school year! However, there were a few classes that grabbed my attention and pulled me out of the slump I was in, one of these classes being Honors Geometry.
Even now, I question why I found and still find Honors Geometry one of my better classes of the school year since, despite the fact that I am relatively skilled in the area of math, I never found any of my math courses especially interesting or attention-grabbing, except for maybe Algebra I the previous school year. Going into the new school year, I expected Geometry to be one of my more boring and mind-numbing classes, since it seemed relatively simple compared to my other classes and it didn’t sound all that interesting. However, as the year went on and I became more and more familiar with the class and its curriculum, I began to enjoy Geometry throughout the school year, often thinking of it as a sort of “safe-haven” from the more boring or difficult classes of the year. However, the most redeeming quality of the entire class was how it was taught by Mrs. Owen. Mrs. Owen came off as extremely sweet and kind within the first few sessions of class, as she understood and was sympathetic towards our anxiety and confusion from our conflicting class schedules and eased us into the course and all it had to offer with a fun, interactive “Get to Know Me” activity within the first week of school. Because I was preoccupied with other classes as well as other things happening in my personal life, I didn’t get to contribute much to this activity, though looking back I think it was - granted, an unoriginal – but nevertheless great way to get us to become familiar with our teacher and our classmates, a nostalgic, easy activity to take away from the hectic few months of the school year. Once the confusion of the different class schedules started to die down, we got into the nitty-gritty of the course which is where I initially thought I would inevitably lose interest in the class. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised.
Mrs. Owen did her very best to make sure that the content of the course was easy yet engaging for her students to understand. She provided us with guided notes for each class that we could print out and fill in as she taught. I was familiar with guided notes from previous years in math; however, I found that Mrs. Owen had her own personal “style”, if you will, to how she asked us questions in and out of the guided notes. She came up with quirky ways to memorize certain rules and formulas, gave us handy tips and shortcuts for filling in proofs or solving for certain missing sides or angles of a shape, and sometimes showed us quick and amusing videos and songs that would help us remember what we were taught. It’s hard to explain how her teaching style felt different from some of the other teachers’, but I have friends who can vouch that Mrs. Owen’s style was definitely effective in helping us retain the information we learned and accurately applying it in the quizzes and tests we were assigned. Speaking of quizzes and tests, Mrs. Owen also showed off her unique and effective teaching style by going to the effort of creating her own tests and quizzes for us to study for and take. She created her own quizzes on Google as well as typed out her own tests on Microsoft Word, these assignments going along very well with what and how she taught us. I found that filling out 4 pages of one of her homemade tests was much easier and less stressful than filling out an entire test given to us by the curriculum which included numerous WorkPads and short answer questions that were somewhat tedious and sometimes hard to apply to what we had been taught.
All in all, I enjoyed Honors Geometry this school year and I’m honestly sad that Mrs. Owen won’t be teaching my future math classes for the rest of high school. While I did have a pessimistic view on the class as a whole at the start of the year and therefor had relatively low expectations for the class causing my viewpoint on the class to be slightly skewed, I do think that Mrs. Owen was an excellent teacher as she taught in an easy and fun manner, generously made and gave us her own assignments to take, and graciously helped us with any and all problems or questions we faced throughout the course.