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8|Student Quotes

This is a portfolio. So I should be selling myself here. I request feedback from my students twice a year – often narrative form. Most years, around January and June, I ask students to write a comment on me, because it’s only fair (since they get to have individualize narrative comments written by me). I tell them to keep ‘em anonymous and to really focus on areas of weaknesses (because I want to get better) and areas of strength (because I want to know what to continue). But by design, I don’t direct kids on what sorts of things they should write about; they know what they want to talk about without me leading them in certain directions. I get back pretty good stuff to help me be a better teacher, but I also get some pretty nice words. Since I should be selling myself here, and since I figure I’d like a “wow, that makes me feel warm and fuzzy” page on the Internet, here is an ongoing list of some positive student quotations.

QUOTATIONS 2012/13

…I’ve never been challenged this hard before in math in my life. But all in all, this has been my favorite year of math so far. You’re one of the best teachers I’ve had. You teach clearly, and always have time for our questions… You were a fun and enthused teacher, and made learning fun. We went on random tangents when we all thought it would be interesting, and that really enforced the material.

…Mr. Shah has been a wonderful teacher in Multivariable Calculus this year. The class was my favorite class in my high school career… I enjoyed the class so much because it did not seem like a ‘traditional’ high school math class — we tackled challenging problems, spent entire class periods proving difficult theorems, talked about conceptual ideas, and took exciting [diversions] to explore new ideas.

QUOTATIONS 2011/12

… This year has truly changed my perspective on math as a whole. I have learned to appreciate it as a skill instead of look at it as a burden on my shoulders. Mr. Shah’s teaching style has made learning complicated subjects all too easy. His well organized and obviously rehearsed presentations which are used to teach each new unit make not taking efficient as well. Throughout the year I also feel as if Mr. Shah was very available for meetings during my frees. His reassessment system is one that no student should take for granted, it is unique in that it ensures that students fully learn the information while maintaining good grades.

… Even though I am a bit of a slow but deep learner when it comes to math, the class was definitely worth every second… Thank you for all your patience and understanding of my needs for reassessing which helped me to practice and get a better understanding of topics.

… As my may know, I did not want to take calculus this year. I was more or less forced into it by [omitted], and I was not terribly pleased with the prospect of having to be in this class. However I found it to be far less horrible than I’d feared. This isn’t so much because the material isn’t what I thought it would be, but because of you and your teaching. You have managed to make this class fun and engaging, and keep the work from getting blah.

I knew you were going to be a good teaching for me right at the beginning of the year, when you emailed me in response to my math survey and suggested that we meet about the things I wrote in it. That alone made me more comfortable in your class than I’ve ever been in a math class. The fact that you honestly … care about your students is really good… I also think that the element of silliness that can sometimes creep into the class (throwing chalk at people — sorry, you would never — giving out candy, etc.) is helpful in keeping the attention of the class. Some people say silliness is distracting, but I disagree. I think it helps keep us on task, because it makes us enjoy what we’re doing.

You’ve been incredibly organized, and it’s been so helpful to me that I’ve always had a place to look when my class notes didn’t contain all the information one might desire… Having the Smartboards posted on the course conference has been an incredible asset for me…

Essentially, what I want to say is that I think you’re doing it right — the pace of the class is fast enough to not be boring yet not so fast that we get lost, the atmosphere is friendly, fun and engaging, and you make the subject matter interesting even to someone like me, who has never really been a math person. I admire that you’re working hard to keep our attention even though we’re second semester seniors, and it’s nearing the end of the year. I’ve reached the point where… doing math homework has become somewhat soothing, so I don’t even mind about still getting homework. Overall, I appreciate all the work you’ve put into making this class both interesting and fun, and to be quite honest I don’t think there’s anything that would have made this a better class. I swear, I’m not just flattering you. I’ve enjoyed this more than I’ve ever enjoyed a math class before.

…On the whole, I have had a great time in calculus over the year. Going into the class, I was worried that I wouldn’t enjoy it. I had a terrible time in Algebra II, and after switching out of advanced ourses I did better in precalc, but I still didn’t enjoy it. However, I can honestly say that I have had a good time in this year’s class — a much better time than I ever could have expected.

I think your style of teaching is very comprehensive and focused. You are clearly incredibly devoted to your class and your students. You are very skilled at explaining advanced math concepts and making them easy to understand. You clearly have demonstrated a devotion to the course — the amount of work you have done is rather astounding. Thinking that you spend hours every wee k writing up reassessments amazes me, and I’m always impressed at your comments on report cards — they are by far the longest of any teachers’. I’ve never had a teacher who devotes so much time to their work.

Some of my favorite classes have been when you have explained crazy concepts to us. Talking about Kurt Godel, or epsilon [hyperreal numbers], or other such interesting facets of math has been incredibly entertaining. I almost wish that there was a class that just dealt with interesting stuff like that, so we wouldn’t have to worry about going off on tangents. You do a great job of making math very exciting and enthralling.

On the whole… this class has been great for me. I feel like I understand how math works better than I ever have. You’ve really done a great job in getting someone not naturally inclined towards math to understand it, and even enjoy it. It’s clear that a whole lot of work on your part goes into this class, and I must say it has worked out.

…  I really enjoy your teaching style. I think everything was kept very well organized, with assessments and skill sheets. I also liked the format of all the worksheets we received [created by me], they were very clear and comprehensible, and therefor a lot easier to study from later on. I also think that you were very easily available throughout the year.

…  I really enjoyed the class on the whole and found that everything was clear throughout the course. One thing I particularly liked was that this year I actually understood why I was doing something and what the point was. It wasn’t just like doing any problem; instead I actually understood the nature of what I was doing… I really like the sort of simplistic approach of starting out with a concept so we understood it and then getting into the algebra behind it and all the quick methods of going about it. Out of any year in math, in this course I feel as though I am able to remember almost everything we have done this entire school year and that is because of the nature of the course and the way in which it was taught; this is the material itself means something to me and I actually understand what I am doing conceptually.

… Honestly, this is one of the best math classes I’ve ever taken. You were almost always engaging and your energy really brought the class to life, even when I thought I would be bored out of my mind. Please keep up the style of teaching, too. I can’t tell you how great those games were, because they added a certain competitive spirit that got me more focused on the task at hand. Plus, trasketball was pretty fun. The class progressed really well, too. It was all very sensible to go through the algebra bootcamps and then work out way up to higher concepts. It’s definitely true what you said that calculus builds upon itself. By the end (or at least where we’re at now) everything seems to make sense in the context of everything we’ve learned. I really appreciated that you put the smartboards up on the course conference; it helped a lot on the days that I missed and when I was trying to study. It was always nice to have that available for reference… You were always there to meet with me when I needed it (although that wasn’t very often), and I appreciate that.

… Overall I have really enjoyed my time in calculus. I feel like I have a very good grasp on the subject as a whole and on the individual topics we have learned. Most of what contributed to this was the environment of the classroom. Not too much focus was put on purely succeeding in terms of getting good grades, but rather on taking our time and making sure we fully understood the topic at hand. Classes never moved too fast for me to understand, and assessments were well spread out so that we would not have too much or too little information on any one assessment. I thought your personality and enthusiasm made this class a lot easier to learn in. We weren’t dreading going to your class but actually trying to anticipate the kind of fun that we would have. Overall, this is one of the most rewarding and overall fun classes I’ve had at Packer.


QUOTATIONS 2010/11

… For me, Mr. Shah is a very good teacher, and his teaching style matches my learning style perfectly. I also find his system very useful and convenient; every night he posts the Home Enjoyment and the smartboard for the class that day. When I miss school, I think Mr. Shah makes it very easy for any math student to catch up and not fall behind, which is what every student would like from a teacher. He also warns us about tests way in advance, which I think benefits the students… I think that the fact that Mr. Shah is very in contact with his students is one of his best attributes as a teacher… In my honest opinion, Mr. Shah is a great teacher who is passionate about math and seems as thought he really cares about teaching his students.

… Throughout my experience in school, I’ve come across several teachers who stand out as being extraordinarily intelligent. Mr. Shah is one of those teachers. He is quite obviously very intellectually gifted, and he has applied that gift to his teaching. But his IQ and erudition are only part of what makes Mr. Shah the superb teacher that he is. It is also his diligence in teaching every day lessons, his desire as opposed to indoctrinate, and his patience and humility. But to avoid sounding sycophantic… I’ll focus on some specifics. First of all, the nature in which the class is run is systematic and predictable. The “home enjoyment” is always posted subsequent to class in a clear way, often even including an attachment of the handed-out worksheet. The assessments and binder-checks are also well announced, allowing for ample time for preparation. This exemplifies Mr. Shah’s diligence, as well as his respect for his students. Second, Mr. Shah has found a good equilibrium for the in-class atmosphere; the class is not so serious that it is somber, but nor is it so jocular that it doesn’t allow learning. Rather, Mr. Shah’s classroom is run in a professional manner, in which the students are attentive and interactive. Some subtle good-humored jokes are permitted as well, keeping the classroom atmosphere lively and comfortable. Third, and perhaps most crucial, is Mr. Shah’s support for his students. He is almost always available by email and can help you with whatever you’re struggling with, offering you websites and other aids to assist you… Additionally, Mr. Shah is usually great at answering whatever questions pop up in class discussion.

… I really enjoy our class. I feel that my knowledge about math has increased drastically, and because I have historically been awful at math, I think that I have you to thank.

…I really enjoy the class because I think that while we have a somewhat casual feel we still learn what we should in each unit. No one student dominates the classroom; we each participate generally equally and I think that is hard to accomplish in a class. I feel as if the information does not leave me after class.

… I think I am learning a lot in this math class at a steady pace that I can handle. I really like using the smartboard because it is great when I can go look at the ones from class on the course conference if I need help. I also like the way you prepare things to go up on the board during class. Your organization greatly benefits everyone in the class because we are always assured that you are on top of things, which makes it easier for us to be, too. You also have a very exciting and facinated attitude about math, which I’ve never had a teacher be like before. It’s great to have a teacher who is passionate about what they teach. I also like that although you want us to grasp the concepts and learn how to do the problems ourselves, you are very caring and considerate when we don’t understand the problems.

… This class has quickly become one of my favorites. I enjoy the energy you bring to class everyday when you are teaching. In the beginning of the year I was not as interested in math as I am now. In specific to your teaching style the Smart Board documents that you bring to class everyday really help for visualizing and really grasping the material at hand. I also enjoy the wealth of resources that we have as students in your class at hand; I have never had a problem meeting with you outside of class, and the online resources are wonderful.

… I have enjoyed working with you this school year in Algebra II… due to your help and support and my recent concern for my performance I have managed to bring my grade up. What I’ve liked about you so far is that you seem to be one of the most attentive and proactive teachers at Packer. At times it has seemed that you’ve cared more about my grade than I have. You have always approached me about my grade and hardly ever the other way around — which needs to change, however, know that I am aware. I like your teaching style as well… you do occasionally bump into the radiator, but I think I can move past that.

… I definitely have to say that I’m enjoying the Algebra II course that I’m taking this year. In the past, math hasn’t always been my best subject, but this year I find myself excelling, which is really important to me. I personally think that as a teacher for this course, Mr. Shah is doing a really good job. He takes the materially really slowly when teaching it to us and he also reinforces it, which helps me to learn better as a student.

… I want to start by saying you are easily one of the best math teachers I’ve ever had. The way you conduct class shows that you want all of us to understand and succeed, and you always make sure that everyone at least has an idea of what’s going on before moving on, which is very encouraging. I really enjoy calculus because you make it fun, like when you use pictures in the SMARTBoards and using words like “blah” to refer to big, complicated terms. I also really like how you refer to long, complicated problems as “ugly,” because being silly somehow makes it easier to understand I guess because it breaks things down more (the Chain Rule made so much sense when you used the boxes and “blah”). Like [student] says “I hate when you make us secretly learn things!” – I think it makes things so simple when we learn a bunch of small skills and get really good at them separately before we combine them into something big… I absolutely feel supported inside and outside of class… you always explain how and why everything works; you never just say “this is this, accept it”… The general atmosphere of the class is a positive one, and it’s a really comfortable environment to work in. I’m really glad I’m in this class.

… Having had various types of math teachers while at Packer, I can definitely say that I enjoy your style of teaching… Many of my math classes have been taught in a more “old-fashioned” way. Every day we would come to class, take out our notebooks, and spend the class taking notes and asking questions. There wasn’t much variation in day-to-day class proceedings. Coming into this year, I assumed that this would be another regular old year of math, except even more complicated and stressful. I’ve never been so happy to be so wrong in my entire life. This is definitely one of the most engaging classes I have ever been in, for various reasons. The first is how we learn new material. Our SmartBoard notes have bright colors, funny images, and make clear what is most important to know… The second reason is the class environment. As you made clear at the beginning of the year, this is our final year of math and we should enjoy learning interesting subjects as opposed to feeling as if we need to know it or else the world will stop turning. It makes the class less stressful, and makes it easier to learn the material… I really like the fact that I am often helping my classmates outside of class. Not only does it feel good to help someone else, but also it solidifies what I know by making me repeat it.

… In my perspective, Mr. Shah is the best math teacher that I have had at Packer. He is very organized and thorough in his planning and teaching. One great part of his teaching philosophy iis that he does not leave anyone behind, something that is important for me. In class, he has great methods for students to learn from their peers as well as helping students individually as much as possible. Using innovating SmartBoard technology with interesting visuals and techniques, Mr. Shah is very good at breaking down material in a method that is understandable to everyone…. I feel Mr. Shah’s philosophy as a teacher on “home enjoyments” is perfect because it is very flexible but important… He gives the responsibility and trust to his students which are extremely important.

… You really take the time to break the materials down in different ways so everyone can understand it in their own way. I feel that whenever somebody has a question, they do not feel intimidated to ask. When they do ask, you don’t mind going off of the intended day’s agenda to explain… When you make us take the time to prove what we were taught, it really allows us to learn the material rather than memorizing it.

… My experience with Mr. Shah over the past couple months as a calculus student have been extremely helpful and educational towards my further understanding of calculus and the math behind it. I find that his teaching method is very helpful, because he does something which all math teachers should do: make sure that their students get it… Mr. Shah will take the time to stop and spend ten minutes explaining a concept just to make sure that everyone can undeniably say “okay, I’ve mastered this.”

… You never make me feel intimidated by the information or bad if I don’t get the information as quickly as others/get the wrong answers or solve something the wrong way. Even when we do problems on the board I don’t feel intimidated because of the atmosphere that you have created in the classroom where everyone should be considerate of everyone else and the idea that there is nothing to be “scared” about… You are also extremely approachable and easy to meet with which is extremely conducive to my learning style. I never hesitate to ask for a meeting if I need one and it never feels like it is hard to get a time to see you or that meeting is a problem. Also, when we do meet I feel that the meetings are very productive and that you really take the time to go through each step, or work to figure out where the disconnect in understanding is, and I find that extremely helpful.

…Mr. Shah has thus far proved an extremely compelling teacher. I don’t think I’ve ever found math so interesting before, and I think the credit there goes to Mr. Shah’s unconventional style of teaching. While his methods are outside the box, they are also extremely organized, and if the deserved attention is paid to the material, it can be learnt not only easily, but also in a way that shows us how to celebrate calculus as a whole. It is easy to teach math in a bland, formulaic way, and based on my experience with math, the more creatively it is taught, the easier it is to recognize its beauty and appeal. Such shows why I have enjoyed calculus so much this year… In terms of the classroom experience, Mr. Shah is a teacher that is genuinely interested in developing relationships with his students, and enjoys the company of young adults. This gives him incredible energy in the classroom, and makes him funny: he has both a sense of humor about himself and the ability to make us laugh at ourselves. In all honesty, I was not expecting to ever have this much fun with math, and I’m glad Mr. Shah has made me finally see how very possible that is, especially as I go off to college.

… I think you’re a great teacher and your students really learn from your class… I like that we get to ask a lot of questions, and I feel like some of the analogies that you use make Math even more interesting. I love your lingos, and energy about Math, it makes me happy to be in your class.

… For the most part, I have found your teaching this year to be a great learning experience packaged in an extremely fun learning environment… I find that you setup complicated skills by slowly teaching us little bit-sized parts of the skill, which, while simple on their own, combine to create something that is much more understandable.

… I think that your teaching style is very engaging, creative, fun, imaginative, and most importantly (with little exception) clear… I think that I am really enjoying the class because of the clarity of it – you teach in a very step by step manner and that is good for me.

… In my opinion, your teaching style if fantastic… You successfully engage me during the lessons (and my fellow classmates), but using our names as functions instead of plain, boring f(x) and by calling on us even though we might not have had our hands raised. Your use of the smartboard is very good – it doesn’t seem like a boring lecture, it seems like a conversation (due to the different colloquialisms that you use and such). Previous to the class, I thought that calculus would be boring but you certainly made it come alive.

… So far I have really enjoyed multivariable calculus, and my work in pre-calculus — vectors, matrices, etc. — finally feels justified. Beyond the material… I really like how the class isn’t focused on grades… since you don’t emphasize the grade, it doesn’t distract from the material… problem-set problems feel closer to what I might encounter in the real world — questions without clear approaches or solutions that often combine multiple different techniques we have learned. Above all, I enjoy the sense of accomplishment when I finish a problem set. When you first hand out problem sets, they look intractable, overwhelming, incredibly complex and far-beyond anything I could ever do. Even when handing in the solutions, I’m sometimes still intimidated by the problems. But through collaboration and applied effort, the problems seem to magically work themselves out and, inexplicably, the answers. Thank you for bringing back the wonder to learning. Overall this year has been a nice, warm balance between exciting and relaxed. Math is one of the classes I always look forward to in a day, and not just because of the subject. Somehow you’ve discovered the secret to making our class a buccaneering adventure of learning and knowledge instead of a stress-frenzy about grades. Please share it with other teachers.

… So far I have really enjoyed the year in Multivariable Calculus. It has been my favorite class so far this year, and one that has challenged me at just the right level.

QUOTATIONS 2009/10

… I find Algebra II to be a very enjoyable class and the teaching to be very good… I find the teaching to be very clear. The assignments are always made very clear and I never find myself confused or wondering what I need to do in this class… continue to do the great job you’ve been doing!

… I enjoy math class. I think that the classes are a productive way of learning and I believe that your style of teaching is very effective and thorough…

… I learn a lot in this class, and the way Mr. Shah teaches works very well with my learning style… He [ ] makes himself very available for help when needed, and seems like he really wants everybody to learn …

… I think that you’re a good teacher and you explain concepts really well… Although at first I had some difficulty acclimating myself to your various rules and teaching methods, I have come to realize that they not only made me more organized, but a better learner as well… Overall I think that your teaching method is excellent, you make concepts clear and easy to understand, you know exactly what needs to be answered when I ask a question and you always promote a really great class environment for learning …

… I really enjoy the cheeriness and excitement you bring to math class… I do think that your teaching style works for me because I am a very visual person and I can’t really process things unless it’s in my face and like a picture so I like the whole use of the smart board. I also like when you relate things to real life because sometimes it seems like math isn’t important to regular life when it really is, thank you for pointing that out… [Y]our class is challenging and if a student doesn’t understand something you are very helpful. Keep being passionate about math because it really helps “non-math” people like me like it more …

… There is hardly anything I can criticize about Mr. Shah’s style of teaching. Mr. Shah is a dynamic teacher and he keeps me excited about math class. I enjoy being taught by someone who is enthusiastic about math and enjoys explaining it. I really like how the notes and videos are always online. mr. Shah works hard to avoid a situation where the students do no know how to do the homework. My favorite thing about Mr. Shah’s style of teaching is that the class is more centered on the students learning the material than the grades. He does not grade our homework because as long as he knows we are putting in the effort to do all the problems, he is happy. He pays attention to the fact that some students find it more difficult to understand Algebra than others and I really appreciate it when he makes sure everyone is on the same page… All in all I give Mr. Shah an A in teaching Algebra II. It is a really difficult class and he definitely makes it as fun and interesting as possible…

… I am always engaged in Mr. Shah’s class. The time goes by fast when I am learning and I can understand a lot of material very quickly and then do problems after to reinforce what we learn. If I ever don’t understand anything, the course conference is a huge help. I really like the video made to show how to use Wolfram Alpha and to be able to access something close to a teacher at home with the homework help website. There are a lot of rules and special assignments like binder checks that can bring down your grade if you forget, but they are necessary to get you in the habit of doing them for later life…

… My time in Mr. Shah’s class has been more than enlightening this semester. Always providing an enthusiastic vibe to the class, Mr. Shah makes learning fun and engaging. He is always available for extra help and willing to explain things when you aren’t too clear on something and that puts me at ease knowing that my teacher is always there in case I need it. I truly enjoy Mr. Shah’s Algebra II course and I am looking forward to the second semester! …

… I’ve enjoyed Math a lot more this year than I have other years. I think that the way you are teaching the class has been really beneficial for my learning. The Algebra Bootcamp before every unit has been a really nice refresher course before we get into the more intensive subjects and has made “the Calculus” a lot easier. The SmartBoard documents have also been really helpful. The fact that you post them online is great for review. I feel like I’ve learned a lot already this year. I can also tell that you make a conscientious effort to try to teach us how the things we learn can actually be applied to life outside of the classroom. As someone who likes to see the big picture this has been really nice for me. You’ve also been really available to meet outside of class. I haven’t taken advantage of that much but the times that I have it’s really helped me… I think you are doing a really great job! …

… I really like your smartboard documents, they are engaging and it is also helpful that you post them on the Course Conference so that we can use them as a reference when studying. Personally I think that the Algebra Boot camps are very helpful and I like doing everything in sections as opposed to a huge review of algebra and then just all of calculus, that’d just be confusing. Overall I think that the homework load is good and that we cover a good amount of material before each assessment …

… So far, Mr. Shah, I’ve found you to be a very good teacher. While math’s difficulty used to make it seem boring or arduous to me, this class is always entertaining and can even aspire to excitement. Little things like the pictures you put on the powerpoints (Nixon, climbing the mountain, shallow/deep water) or the cartoon on the last assessment review sheet are not only amusing but keep the class interesting and everyone attentive. Also, I think that everyone can tell that you are enthusiastic about what you are teaching, and that makes a difference… Personally, I really like [the Algebra Bootcamps]. It is interesting to see how seemingly random or isolated concepts we learned in pervious years connect to this years’ material. I like the pace at which we move for boot-camps and for regular material, and I think everything gets covered thoroughly but without dwelling. One thing I like about calculus this year and would recommend trying to preserve is the collaborative feeling of the class. Though most of the class should be you teaching us, I like that we are encouraged to help, get help from and work with our partners, because that makes the class a more active experience. I’ve also found that this fosters more comfortable classroom relationships with other studetns when compared with previous years’ experiences… Overall, I’m very happy with calculus this year, and am pleased that I have been able to enjoy math more than I have the past few years…

… I have had a very positive experience in Mr. Shah’s calculus class. For starters, he is unlike any other math teacher that I have had at Packer. one of the things that I like about his class is that it doesn’t appear to be “taught by the book.” I like that he stresses the importance of understanding calculus conceptually as opposed to just memorizing rules and applying them. i am the type of learner that benefits from this kind of teaching because once I truly understand something it is difficult for me to forget it. I ahve also found Mr. Shah’s PowerPoint presentations, with diagrams and pictures are quite beneficial when learning new information. i am a visual learner, so Mr. Shah’s silly pictures help me remember …

… This year has been a productive one. Our class moves at a fast pace, which at the beginning of the year was a scary prospect. But now our pace is no longer daunting, because we have adjusted to it. Your teaching, though speedy, is efficient enough to comprehend, and it leaves us with the responsibility of looking over the material later to get the needed practice. Your powerpoints are very useful for when we study for tests. I always make sure to look back at them when I may have written my problems down unclearly in my notebook. I’m thankful for the algebra bootcamps, because I think that algebra two is such a blur for most of us. Your class is fun, which is saying a lot for a math class …

… Mr. Shah is the best math teacher I’ve had at Packer. I like that you can tell that he isn’t just teaching from the textbook, but that he’s genuinely wants to create his own curriculum that can engage students. I think that’s what set him apart from so many other teachers I’ve had. His notes are easy to understand and usually visually appealing. He is very organized and thorough… He gives a reasonable amount of homework that is definitely managable. His study guides are very helpful and his tests are fair …

… So far, I think Mr. Shah has been a great asset to my math education. I have struggled with math since elementary and middle schools, having brief fits of math brilliance and then times of trouble. I feel that this year has been an upward trend… and I feel that Mr. Shah’s teaching is the reason for that. I really like that he calls on everyone, challenging people to attempt a problem they may call difficulty before actually trying to solve it. I think that the use of the SmartBoard is something that has been very helpful… Besides the teaching tactics, I am very content with the hoemwork load; I never feel that it is too strenuous and I make use of its direct relevance to things learned in class, and it’s ability to sometimes push those class learnings into more difficult concepts …

… Mr. Shah is a wonderful teacher. He always comes to class prepared to teach… Mr. Shah does a good job of mixing up the way we learn the material. Sometimes we are working together as a class, other times we are working in groups/pairs, and sometimes we are working individually. Mr. Shah assigns the right amount of homework each night. It is not too much, but it is enough that we are reapplying what we learned in class. Mr. Shah is a good teacher and has patience, which is good because he makes sure we understand the information… Mr. Shah’s doing a great job and should keep doing what he is doing …

… I feel that this class has been a very worthwhile experience and I valued my time in the class …

… I think that you are a pretty good teacher. In all my years here, this year I feel the most comfortable in my math class. I like that you insist on us understanding the material that we are working on, even if you might need to take extra time to explain it to us. I also like that you have us turn to our peers sometimes when we don’t understand something… Overall, I think your teaching style is pretty great, and I’m always assured that if I need help from you, I can ask for it …

… So far this year in Math I’ve been unsurprised by the rigor and consistency of this class. I had Mr. Shah in 10th grade so I know exactly what he expects of his students and what a good Math teacher he is. Whenever I’ve been confused about an assignment, I’ve felt totally comfortable emailing Mr. Shah and asking him to meet and discuss what I don’t understand. I really value a teacher who will take the time out of their schedule to help a student in need, but also been effective at catching a student up and not waste time… I struggled at the beginning of the year with certain calculus criteria, but I feel more confident about my math skills and I know that has to do in large part with Mr. Shah’s teaching style. I love how the Smartboard is used as a tool in the classroom. i always take notes during lcass, but it’s helpful when doing homework to see (if I’m confused) if I missed anything important in class. This tool is especially useful when I’m sick or missed class because of a field trip. This shows me that Mr. Shah truly wants this students to succeed and learn… Mr. Shah has been a really good teacher so far (one of the best I’ve had) …

… I think that class time is really productive and after we go over the homework I always understand the mistakes I made and how to fix them in the future. I think the packets are a great help because they’re easy to look back at when studying for tests. The packets for the word problems were especially helpful because they helped to break down what would usually be an extremely frightening and complicated problem for me. The smart boards are also a great help …

… I believe that you’ve done an excellent job, Mr. Shah. You patiently explain the formulas and theorems to us, even if it takes awhile. You’re always available for extra help, if one needs it, you give us handy topic lists before most assessments, and you always put the smart board notes on the conference. The thing that makes you a really good teacher is your patience and wilingness to adjust to the various speeds of our class. Overall, if I had to give you a grade, it’d be an A …

… In the spirit of honesty, I have no idea how to begin this comment. I have had so much fun in this course [Multivariable Calculus], and I love the material we’re learning. Although the problem sets can be stressful because of the difficulty in explaining concepts, finishing them is unbelievably satisfying, and figuring out how to solve a problem is a fun challenge as well… I have found this course to be mentally challenging but mechanically easy. You teach it well enough that we have time to think through the conceptual parts of the problems without worrying about the mechanics, which I really love about the course… I think that you give the perfect amount of homework, I rarely feel overwhelmed or bored through repetition of simple math concepts, and I think that you include just enough challenging problems to make even the daily homework interesting instead of just rote… I definitely think this class has inspired me to take more math classes in college, because although I have always enjoyed math, I never got a chance to really delve into the conceptual aspects of it, and it is really amazing…. it has been one of my favorite classes of all time, and I believe that I really comprehend the material – so thanks! …

QUOTATIONS 2008/9

… The class this year has worked better for me than any math class I have ever taken… I also think that I have been impacted by your enthusiasm, energy and dynamic teaching style, which never gives me the chance to get board. The use of the SmartBoard has also given me the chance to do more listening and less writing during class, which has allowed me to gain a greater understanding for the work we have done in class and what we will have for homework. I also like the real life examples…

… You are a really great teacher. Your partial credit system totally reduces my stress level while taking your tests, and I think is a completely fair policy. What makes you different from my other teachers is your desire for your students to succeed. On numerous occasions I have heard people say that you are “the most passionate teacher I’ve ever had”…

…I’ve never been in a math class that had so much activity and comedic relief. I think the little jokes you include in your smart board presentations every day really make a difference…

…In all honesty, Mr. Shah, I love your class. Your teaching style really works for me: every new concept that you teach us seems to really be based on the one before, and this building of ideas conceptually makes sense for me…

…Your whole method of teaching is perfect for me. I love the way you prepare slides on the SmartBoard (your use of technology definitely fits me well), spend a bunch of time going over homework, and then make Calculus fun to do with your lighthearted humor. I don’t think that I would enjoy implicit differentiation and ln derivatives as much as I do if I weren’t in this class… First, I think that you really care how we do in this class, not just teaching us so we can get out or all get As so you look good for something along those lines. Second, it makes me want to do the homework, not just for personal practice, but to show you how much I know and how well I can do because I know that you look at it and care. My new attitude towards math: I’m learning it and I’m liking it…

… One thing that I can always count on in your class is your organization. You always have a powerpoint ready, and you are always punctual. I personally think that you are my most well-prepared teacher…

… Math last year was hard for me… This year though I find that I am doing a great job! I think that you have a lot of energy, that makes the class really interesting. Unlike some subjects, every day class is different, this makes learning fun and enjoyable. I really like how you bring a lot of real life examples into the mix. Also its really helpful that you are so willing to meet for extra help…

…This year in math has been really different for me as compared to my previous classes at Packer. Rather than just writing on the board what we can easily just take notes from in the textbook, I feel like you are really teaching us algebra. I can also tell that you really care that your students learn what you are teaching. I really appreciate this…

…I think Mr. Shah is a great teacher and believe he has a great system of explaining math. he is probably the first teacher that compels me to work in class rather than fall asleep. This is for a variety of reasons: it could be his dress, which is always vibrant, his enthusiasm, or his witty power points. Although I have been struggling with math more than any other year, I do not dread math class as I usually do…

… I feel accomplished when I do well on one of your tests…

… I like how the smart board presentations are used during class because I have come to realize that that is a very effective way for me to learn this material. I like that with the presentations the material is broken down into manageable pieces at a time and then throughout the period we work up to the whole concept. This leaves me at the end of class feeling like I will be able to accomplish the homework that night. I also like that we take the time to learn the information in pieces and then do practice problems throughout the class after we have learned each piece, even if it is something that we have learned before. I find that it’s good to amke sure tha tthe understanding of the material is strong…

… Multivariable Calculus is far and away my favorite class that I’ve taken at Packer. Yes, I love the material, but I also love the way that you teach the class. You are terrific at letting us grapple with concepts on our own, while still helping us when we need it. Your own radiating zeal and enthusiasm for the material definitely helps us love the class and the subject. Honestly, there are days I would stay home, if not for Multi…

QUOTATIONS 2007/8

… your explanations have been the clearest of all the math teachers I have encountered… I appreciate the fact that you do go over multiple methods and train of thoughts…

…I really like how simple you keep your explanations of math and how you make math easier to get for all of us…

…You are a great teacher because the way you explain concepts and new ideas to the class are very easy to intepret and understand…

…I think your teaching has been phenomenal and I mean that sincerely. For the first time in ages, I actually feel that I understand math, that I can grasp the content, that hard work pays off, and that I have a teacher who is competent and extremely clear and whose teaching is compatible with my learning…

…through your wacky powerpoints, people pay more attention and understand the material better. You may have no idea but I went from a C average in Algebra I to getting As in your class… Having a teacher who cares improves the feeling of the classroom as well as the comprehension of the students…

…I went into the year thinking that Algebra II/trigonometry would be a really boring and hard subject. I was quickly proven wrong when I found the subject very interesting and easy (but not too easy)… This was due to the fact that Mr. Shah came to class prepared to teach us with a positive attitude and tha treally helps me learn when it comes to math…

…I think it is really important to have a teacher that is interested in what you are learning, and you are which is awesome. Thanks for being a cool teacher…

…Your passion for math is obvious and is inspiring to someone like myself that has not enjoyed math in the past. You are also very organized which is really helpful…

…Mr. Shah brings an exceptional and pleasant attitude to class every day. His enthusiasm for the subject inspires a desire to learn and sets the sunny tone for the class in general. I thoroghly enjoy the overall feeling and environment he has created in our math classes. I am not a huge fan of technology-based math lecturing, however I think that Mr. Shah manages to utilize the smart board in a way that is overall productive…

…There is so much I can say about you I don’t know where to start. From day one I knew that you were going to be a good teacher. I like most of your teaching style and the fact that you make the lesson fun I think helps kids get more into the class or maybe be more concentrated. Some days I think, “Wow, Mr. Shah is my favorite teacher. He makes me laugh and it’s just a fun class.”…

…I would have to say that what I like most about class is that I don’t really feel stressed when I’m there. I think it in a way makes me wonder about how stressful the whole day can be and when I’m in math class the feeling in the room makes me forget however long about grades and remembering to do this and that. I appreciate your lightheartedness…

…Your enthusiasm is amazing! it is rare to find a teacher that is as dedicated to and as excited about their subject and teaching as you are…

…I love the PowerPoint presentations and your creativeily which is EXTREMELY unique. There really is no other way to put it. I appreciate that you take risks and for me they definitely have worked…

…I really appreciate that you, Mr. Shah, are not focused solely on throwing information at us to memorize and utilize without knowing what it means; as a class, we worked to effectively understand what it is that we are learning during lessons and how to apply it to the larger picture… There is another thing that I appreciate: before your class, I had trouble explaining math to peers or anyone who might have asked, but because you teach more than the fundmaentals, and connect ideas so integrately, I have found myself growing more comfortable with sharing my knowledge in a helpful way…

…You are a great teacher. I love your enthusiasm. I have never had such a fun math class…

…Your enthusiasm brightens the class. You always begin a new lesson with so much energy… You taught me to have so much more confidence in my math because you know I could do it and I did. Thank you so much!…

…You are an absolutely amazing teacher! Your class everyday has been so wonderful. Everyday I can’t wait for math class. Your spirit, enthusiasm and your true with for me to learn has made every class so special… Any way it takes, it is obvious that you truly want for us to understand. And with you teaching it I do…

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