WHERE I AM & WHAT I DO
I am a high school math teacher at Packer Collegiate Institute [website], a pretty awesome independent school in Brooklyn, New York. I enjoy getting students excited about math by being math’s loudest and most passionate cheerleader.
In the current school year (2012/13), I am teaching one section of Advanced Precalculus, two sections of non-AP Calculus, and one section of Multivariable Calculus.
BetterLesson.org asked me if I could be a featured educator, so here’s an “interview” with me.
I had the idea in 2010 that one way to really show who you are as a person without any writing would be to give someone photos of the inside of your wallet, your bookshelves, your refrigerator, and your computer. I made a website and had a few people post submit these photographs. Here are mine. (Click each photograph to see the insides of the wallet, bookshelves, fridge, and computer.)
MY EDUCATIONAL TRAJECTORY
The nutshell version follows. I went to one year of high school in Illinois, followed by three years in New Jersey. Both were public schools. I attended MIT for my undergrad education where I got two SB degrees: one in Mathematics [dept page], one in an interdisciplinary field called Science, Technology, and Society [dept page]. I also got certified to teach high school mathematics in Massachusetts. After college, I went to grad school at UCLA where I got a MA in the History of Science [dept page].
Then it was to New York to teach math!
Okay, okay, I know it probably comes across like a frenetic trajectory of someone who never learned to settle down. But in all honesty, everything was always centered around teaching. (My senior year at MIT, I got certified to teach high school math in Massachusetts, because that was my ultimate goal. And my research at UCLA focused on science education in the United States from around 1870-1910.) I have a bunch of intellectual interests, but the common denominator is that I love to learn, and I love to get others excited about learning too.
If you want to read my very first personal statement about why I wanted to teach, that I gave to every school I applied to, here it is. Raw and honest, it shows how I ended up in the classroom.