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Judith Broadwin, retired high school teacher, Long Island, New York

 

Judith Broadwin
Retired high school teacher
Long Island, New York
 
April 2002

Judith Broadwin's teaching career began in New York City and was followed by several years teaching in the mathematics department at Queens College, City University of New York. In 1968, she returned to teaching secondary school mathematics and spent the next 29 years at Jericho High School, in Long Island, New York, where she primarily taught Advanced Placement AB and BC calculus courses and remedial algebra. Broadwin always wanted to be a teacher, but her motivation for becoming a mathematics teacher was inspired by a wonderful high school mathematics teacher who loved the subject.

Throughout her 37 years of enjoyable teaching, Broadwin was always willing to learn and to change. Along with the advent of the technology revolution, exploring new instructional approaches sustained her deep interest in teaching. In 1991, she introduced the graphing calculator in her mathematics courses. Integrating graphing calculators into her mathematics courses, she says, enhanced her own understanding of mathematics, as well as her ability to teach it.

Her interest in learning and in using new and effective approaches to teach mathematics prompted Broadwin to return to school in the mid-1970s to study applied mathematics at State University of New York–Stony Brook. She subsequently shared her new knowledge with her students and colleagues.

Administrators' resistance to using technology in teaching was one of the challenges that Broadwin encountered in her work. But her students' enthusiasm, as well as her own, for technology proved helpful in the implementation process. She believes that great resistance to the use of technology in education is rare, but that some teachers refuse to allow students to use technology in their classrooms.

Broadwin reports that parents in the community in which she taught were very supportive of mathematics education. Access to AP calculus was always open, and any student who passed the precalculus course was encouraged to enroll in the AP course.

Broadwin advises new teachers to "Never stop learning . . . take courses, join professional organizations, and read professional journals." She believes that mathematics education today is the most dynamic of all subjects, that the enthusiasm of a teacher who continues to learn is contagious, and in turn, the enthusiasm of students energizes the teacher.

 

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