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This week’s feature is Grant Bangerter, a math teacher at Independence High School. Grant believes if students can see how math is used in the real world they can work through their math phobias and learn math. Here is what he wrote about his reasons for teaching:
Why I Teach Math
by Grant Bangerter
I have been teaching for nearly two decades now at various places, mostly general education classes at vocational schools and community colleges. I found many of today’s youth seem to fear math. As I talked with them about their experiences in math, many of them said they were bad at math starting at the junior high and high school level. With my own children, I noticed that was the point in their lives when they either latched on and had a good experience with math or they didn’t. Personally, I love math and I see it all around me. I felt that maybe I could help more students develop that love as well if I could get to them soon enough. So here I am in secondary education trying to help students see that math is fun and all around them. We can cook peach cobbler in a Dutch Oven and scale the recipe up or down for different sized ovens. We can measure and figure out how much fabric to buy and recover the cushions of our couch. We can design and build a green house from scraps of lumber for little to no cost. Math makes our lives better. I try and help my students catch that same vision. That is why I teach.