Thoughtful Note from Parents

Here is a thank you note from the parents of a sophomore who took my AP Calculus AB course this past year.  I appreciate notes from parents and students.  They give great sustenance and help to rejuvenate my passion for teaching.

Dear Mr. Math Teacher,

I think yours was the first class in 11 years of education that finally actually challenged our daughter.  Thank you for allowing her to struggle and to succeed.  As parents, it’s a joy to see her rise to all the challenges that calculus presented to her.  Thank you for teaching her this year, and helping her to believe in herself.

Happy summer to you and your family!

Proud parents. 


As a teacher, it is immensely difficult to challenge all students in a course, as they are quite diverse in ability and prerequisite understanding.  Challenge to one set of students looks very different to other sets.  Accomplishing this for all students without overwhelming any set, or individual student, requires a trial and error approach over time.  I believe I am getting closer to being able to do so with my AP Calculus students.  This summer, I have also done so for those students who will pass the accelerated algebra 1 course.

Unfortunately, I have not found it possible to teach all students in such a fashion that they all pass the course.  This fact pains me, often.  At the same time, it is very clear that I am but one factor in a student’s learning, and one that has limited leverage at that.  Nonetheless, my hope is to activate students’ desire to succeed, or at least help them to find out what they need to succeed, which may entail significant remedial effort.  Unfortunately, our “one-size-fits-all” approach to public education hinders much progress and must change before any discernible, sustainable improvements in educational outcomes occur.  Of this, I am sure.

About Dave aka Mr. Math Teacher

Independent consultant and junior college adjunct instructor. Former secondary math teacher who taught math intervention, algebra 1, geometry, accelerated algebra 2, precalculus, honors precalculus, AP Calculus AB, and AP Statistics. Prior to teaching, I spent 25 years in high tech in engineering, marketing, sales and business development roles in the satellite communications, GPS, semiconductor, and wireless industries. I am awed by the potential in our nation's youth and I hope to instill in them the passion to improve our world at local, state, national, and global levels.
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1 Response to Thoughtful Note from Parents

  1. Pingback: When Life Gives You Lemons… | Reflections of a Second-career Math Teacher

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