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I believe that my mission as a teacher is threefold. First, I must teach students mathematics in a way that will challenge their abilities to the fullest. It is my conviction that students are extremely capable and should be continuously challenged. In general, I have found that students will perform at the level expected of them. Therefore, I expect a great deal from students and I usually do get maximum effort from most of them. I have always advocated and believed in high standards.

Second, I believe that students should enjoy mathematics. This usually comes about only if I become the role model. I must love mathematics, I must be enthusiastic about teaching, and I must get them emotionally involved. In the classroom I do this through laboratory or manipulative type activities, group interaction, and through their active participation in helping select activities.

Third, I feel obliged as a teacher to share my teaching techniques, activities, and ideas with other teachers. In this way, I not only grow as a teacher, but I help others as well. I believe in excellence in education and actively try to promote it both through self-improvement and through my work with students and teachers.

Wally Rogelstad
Oregon Mathematics Teacher (retired)
Oregon Mathematics Teacher, Oct/Nov 1987

Note: Wally Rogelstad has had a great influence on myself. Whenever he spoke at a conference, I tried to attend his session...always leaving it super-charged emotionally and filled with creative ideas to share with my students. I continue to share his ideas in my methods class (and hopefully his enthusiasm) and in my own teaching of mathematics.
Why? Because his ideas work!

I share the statement above so others can hear Wally's words...
plus as encouragement to every teacher of mathematics
to reaffirm their commitment
not only to make mathematics fun and challenging,
but also to serve as role models.