“I love math!” – Igniting a Passion for Mathematics without Getting Burned in the Process

I awoke this morning to the email subject line: I love math!  The email was sent by a former AP Calculus student presently attending UC Berkeley.  Her words were encouraging and welcomed.  Additionally, the similarity between her professor, and his plight, and my experience last academic year has me ruminating on all things educational again; hence, this blog post.

The professor’s plight is worth reading as he appears to be an excellent mathematics lecturer who cares tremendously for his students at Berkeley.  Like me, he rejects calls for doing things as they’ve always been done if how they’ve always been done is not working.  Also, like me, he has suffered emotionally from the stress of staying true to his calling and beliefs while being castigated for not teaching like everyone else.

I hope the UC Berkeley administration steps in to support this outstanding lecturer.

It will be a travesty if they do not.

###

Hi Mr. Math Teacher, hope you are having a great school year!

Just wanted to let you know that I am loving my Calculus class this semester (it’s my favorite class!) and to thank you for providing me with such a strong foundation.  My professor reminds me of you (to some extent) because he is so so passionate about our learning and consistently reminds us that learning is more important than grade performance (which I remember you often talking about too).

My professor was recently fired because of department issues and his unusual, eccentric teaching style and abnormally high student ratings, and has written a response that you may find interesting:

http://alexandercoward.com/BlowingTheWhistleOnUCBerkeleyMathematics.html

He also wrote another article regarding strikes and education in 2013 (which you may have seen before – I think it went viral):

http://alumni.berkeley.edu/california-magazine/just-in/2014-09-02/cal-lecturers-email-students-goes-viral-why-i-am-not

I guess I am writing this and sending you these articles because he really does remind me of you.  The two of you are the best teachers I’ve had thus far in school, and are why I love math and especially why I value my education so much. Thank you for everything!

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About Dave aka Mr. Math Teacher

Secondary math teacher teaching math intervention, algebra 1, honors precalculus, and AP Calculus AB. 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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2 Responses to “I love math!” – Igniting a Passion for Mathematics without Getting Burned in the Process

  1. jackd120 says:

    Hello Dave, It must feel great to get such a letter from a grateful student! Stay the course.

    Like

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