I always thought that I was a good math teacher. I knew the material, prepped well, had good interaction with the students while I lectured, fielded questions appropriately, always had fresh breath and was told that I explained things well. Yet, my success rate in my community college Algebra classes was right in there with the national average -- about 35%. It was brutal and I felt like a failure. Was it them? Was it me? Heck, I knew that I was trying by best. Also, it bummed me out that that my students ranked going to math class right up there with going to the dentist. I'd been trying to change my students for years with no success... Then, I realized that I could change!! I spent an entire summer (and, then, continued after that) reading books on how to motivate people, success training and how people learn. I changed everything! I changed how I taught. I changed my own approach and classroom attitude. I even (and most importantly) changed what I talked about on the first day of class. And I couldn't BELIEVE the change that took place in my students!! Most of them actually LIKED coming to my math classes! I could even feel the difference in the vibe of the class when I walked in the door. Oh, and my success rate? It went up to 75-80%!
For more info on how I changed everything, check out my stuff below... and good luck in your classrooms!