Go to content

Teacher Interview with Kadhir Rajagopal

What is your biggest challenge as a math teacher?

The greatest challenge as far as being a math teacher at an urban school is that you have students who are coming with low levels of motivation. They’ve failed all their life, they hate math. Even if you love them, even if you try to get them to buy-in, the students will not necessarily buy-in, they will reject your love. They’ll turn away, you know. They won’t just open their arms and say ‘teach me’. They won’t say that. So the teacher has to be resilient enough and be tough enough psychologically to still love the kid and push forward and finally you will get to most of the kids. That’s what I believe. But it won’t’ be easy with students who failed most their life. So, attitude and lack of motivation, that’s one challenge. Number two, students are below grade level. They’re coming with super low skills and now I have to teach them Algebra but their coming with 4th and 5th grade skill level. They don’t know what a square root is. They don’t know how to do fractions. They don’t know how to do decimals. So that’s a huge challenge cause there’s no textbook that tells you how to take a 5th grader and teach him Algebra. The textbook tells you how to take a 9th grader or a student who’s at grade level and teach them Algebra. So the teacher has to be extra creative, has to take more time to scaffold lesson and bring it down to their level but still lift them up and still teach them the Algebra cause you don’t want to teach them 5th grade math all day if you’re teaching 9th graders. You want to build them up. So that’s a huge challenge. The third challenge could be that a lot my students, they don’t have support often times. They might not have parents who push them to, to do their homework or to wake up and come to school on time, or maybe they do. Maybe they do, maybe they don’t listen to their parents. Maybe their influenced by their peers in their neighborhood, their influenced so much that they think it’s cool to not do good in school. Or they think it’s cool to come to class late. They’re influenced by their peers and that culture permeates the way they think. I would say those are the three biggest challenges teaching in an urban school.

Other Interview Questions

Select another teacher interview