- When introducing variation problems, avoid using the letter
*d*as a variable. You may say something like, "So, when you double*d*..." which will be followed by a short gasp from you and snickers from the front row. - Say things as many times as humanly possible--written verification is just not enough. For example, on the test I gave on Wednesday, I had--in bold letters on the very top of the test--"OUR FINAL IS ON THURSDAY, DECEMBER 16, 5:30-7:30 PM, IN SLAGLE 305." As one girl turned in her test, she asked, "Can you tell me when our final is?"
- When teaching inverse functions, avoid the ordered pair (
*a*,*b*). Because when you say, "Ok, if (*a*,*b*) is a point on the graph of our original function, what point do we know is on the graph of the inverse function?" you'll realize all too late that the answer is (*b*,*a*), and you'll suddenly wish you would have chosen any other letter comination in the world. - Don't take yourself too seriously.
- Be very mindful to pronounce the
*f*in the word*shifts*when dealing with transformations. - When a student says, "This is probably a stupid question," it probably really is a stupid question (i.e., you probably just spent the last thirty minutes explaining what the student is asking and he or she just slept through it all). You can pretend like it's not though.

## Saturday, December 11, 2010

### What I've learned after a year of teaching

The end of the semester is coming to a close, and I have officially taught for a year! There are a few things I've learned while teaching College Algebra...

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