As a kid, I hated math. I dreaded the mental math questions my father would lob at my siblings and me. (It really is extremely embarrassing to be beaten by a sister who is seven years younger than you.) I would still hate math today, but for Mr. Nine [no, seriously] who taught me Trigonometry, Pre-Calculus, and AP Calculus.
By the time I had Mr. Nine, he had also taught my older brother as well as fellow classmates’ siblings and parents, yet he looked young and was all-fired to teach math. I think Mr. Nine was a great teacher because he while was passionate about teaching math, he was realistic about it. He knew it was hard, and that he had to be patient. Every Tuesday and Thursday night, he hosted two hours of free math tutoring available to anyone in need of some math help. He rewarded students for mastering new concepts without making them feel dumb when they couldn’t get something. I was thrilled when I got to demonstrate a homework problem that I had gotten correct.