Intro - it's OK to like Math!

dave_esquer_in_hawaii

Aloha and welcome! As I write this introduction, I have been retired from the educational system for 36 days. I am a proud middle school MATH TEACHER! Why, being newly retired, am I taking this certification process, you ask? Well ... I see myself growing into and contributing to the flipped/blended/online educational math classroom in my SPARE TIME. You see, I am sorta' bicoastal. I and my wife of 32 years live 1/2 time in California and on the Big Island of Hawaii. I see the need for excellent blended/online community college education in math on the mainland and on this tiny piece of paradise in the middle of the Pacific Ocean! The virtual teacher is the teacher of tomorrow and the classroom location will become irrelevant. Retiring from the California State Teacher Retirement System (STRS) this year with a Golden Handshake stipulates a 6 month "quiet time/no employment" from the California public educational system. What better way to pass those 6 months? I undertook this certification process to raise my online teaching skill set to meet the needs of our future college students!

I have been a middle school (Remedial Math, Pre-Algebra and Algebra) and elementary school  (multi-subject) teacher in the California Rim of the World Unified School District and San Bernardino Unified School District for the past 18 years.

Presently, I am enrolled in this Leading Edge Certification (LEC) for the Online and Blended Teacher course offered by the state of California Technology Assistance Program (CTAP). The LEC is aligned with the iNACOL Standards for Quality OnlineTeaching, the National Board Professional Teaching Standards, and the National Education Technology Standards for Teachers. Additionally, I have expanded my experience base utilizing my Crosscultural, Language and Academic Development (CLAD) Certificate to teach seventh and eight grade English Language Development (ELD) students reading and writing strategies to be successful in their core subject classes.

I come to education as a second career choice having been an Aerospace Engineer for the first seventeen years of my professional life. As such, science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) are my educational competency strengths.

In the past, I have conducted numerous teacher inservices, both at the site and district levels. I have been the school webmaster (http://www.rimsd.k12.ca.us/MPH). My classroom website (http://www.daveesquer.com) contains all information my students and their families need to be successful in Prealgebra and Algebra. Through technology, I continue to enhance the site to support distance learning with self-developed online student lessons and online one-on-one and small group virtual tutoring. Additionally, I am published on Apple’s iTunes store with several Prealgebra and Algebra lessons. I invite you to explore my site!

I taught 5th grade for 7 years and quickly discovered that my educational philosophy became tied to the Constructivistic approach. Students need to "learn from within". As educators, our job is to scaffold, bring forth and activate as much a-priori knowledge from within each student. I remember, in year 4, beginning the voltage and current unit in 5th grade science. I had a mix of GATE and non-GATE students. Our first assignment - light up a 1.5 volt bulb. I gave them masking tape, foil, a battery and minimal instructions (how-to build the wire). Inevitably in teams, the GATE students would be extremely frustrated, insisting the battery, the bulb … was faulty, never them. The students with experimental and experiential skills fumbled through and discovered light! I still relish the successful and confident looks on their faces. Constructivism at its finest!

I have struggled with these constructivistic experiences in middle school algebra. Curriculum demands on the students, testing schedules and student maturity have driven the speed of delivery of these abstract concepts. When we (students, teachers, schools and districts) are graded on one single yearly test, time and schedule is the driving factor. Unfortunately, in-depth learning is being supplanted with “teach to the test”. We are on the cusp of a technologically enhanced education revolution, I see the tip of the iceberg in online learning. Sal 

dinner_timeKhan is my hero! I hope to peak under the water and see where our future (our students and their education) is headed.

In closing, my wife and I look forward to this new direction of our lives. Online and blended learning classrooms are avenues that K-16 education is exploring. I hope to bring my math and technology education skills to college students. Being comfortable with technology, I am anxious to share anytime-anywhere long distance learning strategies and expand educational outreach to the future citizens of the world.

Thanks for reading and mahalo,

Dave

P.S., Interested in my resume? Just click here!