Why did you choose Granite Bay High, and how do you like it so far?
“I love it! It’s great! Students are great; staff are great. What people are doing, getting involved in and working on are great. I chose it because when I was looking at different schools, I was looking up both statistics about students and seeing how well students do here as well as how many staff have been here for a long time, and it’s a place that people like to stick around and be a part of. I wanted to find a school like that where people feel like it’s a family and want to do things together.”
How would you describe your teaching style, and how do you like the common core curriculum?
“I would say, I like to ask a lot of questions and make students think, which, in a math class, some of us can probably attest … we aren’t a fan of, but I think it helps us learn a little bit better when we spend some time thinking about stuff and then build in direct teaching so that students can get caught up if they’re stuck, but I like to ask questions and have students think through things together and come to conclusions together.”
When struggling with reluctant learners or students who don’t understand a math concept, how do you overcome that?
“Well, it depends on the student, like there’s a lot of different ways just depending on what each kid needs. I would say for most students a lot of it’s working more individually or in small groups because people need a little bit more attention and focus to be able to come to understandings, and then for a lot of students it’s thinking of how to solve something a little bit differently. So looking at visuals, looking at graphs, looking at tables, thinking about a context for it, trying to find something that connects how a student learns best to whatever it is that we’re working on.”
What is your homework philosophy?
“I think with math, there is a need for practice and repetition, and so having space to do that with homework I think is helpful. So for homework, I never give anything that’s new or something that students haven’t seen before because I think it’s a chance for them to practice not to try to figure things out on their own.”
How do you challenge slow learners and advanced students within the same class?
“With advanced students, a lot of times it’s trying to push them within a problem that we’re working on, trying to find something that’s maybe not necessarily the main focus of what we’re working on but that would challenge their thinking a little bit. With students who are struggling, it’s trying to break things down into smaller pieces that are understandable and helping them see kind of how they relate to the bigger picture, whatever it is that we’re working on.”
What are three words your co-workers, other teachers, administrators, and students would describe you?
“Chill. Playful. Making math fun.”