Daria Peralta Urena Bio

Daria Peralta Urena Bio

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My name is Daria Peralta Urena, teaching allows me to share knowledge, motivate others and spread hope. I teach Mathematics in a New York City public high school. New York City has a great diversity of students, all of them with different background knowledge and a different mind-set towards mathematics. I never thought I would become a Math teacher, however I enjoy every single day in the classroom. I understand many of the challenges my students face because I experienced them as well. I came to the United States 20 years ago, to start from zero in a country totally different from my native one. I experience language acquisition difficulties, many frustrations due to my limited communication skills and I personally struggled with math in my adolescence years. All those experiences helped understand the struggle many students face, and how I could mathematics to make them feel we all speak the same algebraic language.


Mathematics can be a very challenging subject, however it is systematic and interesting when students are shown its applications. Since every student has different background information, I tried to incorporate mathematics in real life in all my units. Students find more interesting how to use math to build a bridge, hit a home run or even understand discounts in a store than a traditional written equation or problem. Since I had difficulties to fully understating math during my secondary education, I have developed and learned many strategies to help my students fully understand the class concepts. To avoid frustrations and change the negative image some students have towards math, I give students on-going unit and lesson assessments that guide my teaching. One mistake many teachers make is to assume students know a given procedure, however those assumptions never benefit the class or the student. I make sure the pre-requisite math is clear before beginning a class topic.


The goal of my lessons is to make the topics clear, relevant and that my students feel there is always room for their ideas, questions and comments in the classroom. I do not want my students to experience the same things that did, and for that I need to incorporate technology, different strategies and provide the learning materials in different languages. There are many websites and applications that show math visually and others have concept maps and writing tools that can guide students thinking. Many students have difficulties with mathematics but sometimes it is because they have not been exposed to the concepts in all the possible ways. Math can be visual and technology in the classroom is usually the bridge to facilitate learning.


To teach math to English language learners is normally a pleasant surprise. Many ELLs perform better in mathematics than in other subject area, due to the common language math has in every country. I teach students the cognates, word roots and vocabulary words that are part of the math class but also their daily life. English is my second language and I know that math can become the class where students can share their prior knowledge the most and that makes it very exciting. Oral and written communication is essential in every class, which means math is also reading and writing. I include writing exercises, word problems and graphic organizers to help my students solve the math problem and to be able to articulate their knowledge.


As a teacher I am always learning and growing. I provide a safe environment for my students to assimilate a new culture while learning the mysteries of mathematics. I make my classroom a place where respect and discipline are essential for success. I already experience many difficulties in life and I know the value of education. While I teach, I am a role model and I hope to inspire every single student to complete a post-secondary education. I give back to my community the same way I hope one day, my students will be able to do the same.