This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with Shannon Ahern, a 27-year-old high school math and science teacher based in Dublin, Ireland, who uses ChatGPT to help her teach. The following has been edited for length and clarity.
As a high school math and science teacher, I had a bit of an existential crisis about my job. I pride myself in creating unique resources that play to the interests of my students, so when I saw that ChatGPT can do things like generate a math lesson in seconds, I thought: What am I here for? What's my purpose? What's unique about me now that anyone with access to AI tools can create a lesson in 30 seconds?
I was intimidated to try it out, but I knew that ChatGPT would only become more popular, and I didn't want to be left behind. After using the chatbot to help with lesson planning and resource creation, I realized that I have nothing to worry about.
When I first used ChatGPT, I treated it as a joke; I asked it to write poems about the Pythagorean theorem and a song about math in the style of Taylor Swift. My students said they enjoyed them, which gave me the push I needed to keep testing it.