I had a teacher who worked part-time as a college professor at night and a full-time meter reader during the day.
When I took Geometry with Mr. Savage, I really struggled. The memorization of axioms, postulates, and theorums left me dizzy. I went to him after school and shared my problem with him. He was very compassionate and understanding.
His attitude emboldened me to make a request: ”If I can get the correct answer by proving it logically and not memorizing, would you mark it right?” He said he would, and I got through geometry with his help.
There aren’t enough good things to can say about the woman who was my first-grade teacher and therefore my formal introduction to education. She taught me such essentials as reading, writing my name, math and more.
But more than that, Mrs. Cooper was a staple of our small, island community; by the time she was teaching me she had already taught my father, aunts, uncles and so many of the leaders in my hometown. Everyone loved her, and they still do, for her emphasis on teaching the whole student. No one left her classroom without learning what it meant to be kind, how to share, how to have good manners, how to speak respectfully to adults and to each other and so much more. She didn’t just teach us, she loved us!
Many years have passed, but I will never forget Mrs. Gutstine. I was six years old, shy, and failing first grade.My mom, a former teacher, was concerned about my academic progress and lack of confidence. Mrs. Gutstine, a veteran teacher and my tutor, taught me how to read and solve math problems by giving me small prizes, playing learning games, and building my confidence by telling me I was smart.
Math was always easy for me and I sometimes was a little bored. Mr. Chao not only made math exciting and engaging for all students, but challenged students who already understood the concept. Not only did he help us with math and make it exciting, but he was there for all the students on a personal level as well. When something was going on in my life, he was always there to ask how I was and was able to make modifications for my work so that I could deal with the personal issues and still succeed in school!
I had an amazing teacher in the sixth grade. Her name was Mrs. Maske. Mathematics has always been my favorite subject and it came easily to me. One day Mrs. Maske gave the class a new seating chart. I was seated beside a girl who had just moved to our school named Anna. Anna was not very strong in math and needed extra help. After I finished my work for the day Mrs. Maske would have me help Anna with her math.
One day when I was working with Anna, she looked up at Mrs. Maske with the brightest eyes and said, ”I GET IT NOW!” This made my day! I knew from that moment on that I wanted to be a teacher, all because Mrs. Maske saw the potential I had to teach another student and gave me the opportunity to find that potential myself.
Mr. Blaha was the best math teacher I ever had. He made class come alive by incorporating humor, song, and dance in to his classroom. I can still sing the quadratic formula to this day. I currently am a social studies teacher, and decided to go back and get my math certification. Mr. Blaha tutored me six years after I graduated to help me pass the math Praxis test. He most definitely change my life, and I know has changed the lives of thousands of others!
I had always been pretty good at math, but I never really enjoyed it until 8th grade, when I had Mr. Banderob for Pre-Algebra II.
Mr. Banderob made math interesting, pushing us to use formulas in new ways. He made it goofy, making bad math puns and graphing equations into silly shapes. Most of all, he made math make sense.
I’m still not sure if Mr. Banderob’s brain and mine just work the same way, or if somehow he taught my brain to think like his, but the outcome is the same: when Mr. Banderob explained things, they clicked. It got to the point where I would anticipate how he was going to explain things, or what bad pun he would make. Sometimes he’d make a slip of the tongue, leaving himself open for an awful pun, and would just look at me and warn, ”Don’t even say it.”
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.
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- Francis Nine, Ponca City Senior High School
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- Mrs. Starr, Streams Elementary School Monday Dec. 19th
- Mr. Dauplaise, Washington Junior High Monday Dec. 19th
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