All posts by Greg Rhodes

Making a Lasting Impression… Without Even Knowing It

Footsteps in the Snad

GUEST POST: Today’s article is written by Greg Rhodes, the co-founder, creative director, and overall tech guru for MPJ. Usually, he stays behind the scenes, but a recent email made such an impact on him that he just had to share it with our readers.

I’ve been out of the classroom for a long time now, over fifteen years. But prior to my career transition, I was a math teacher like many of you. During those years, I did my best day in and day out to help students think logically and solve problems creatively… and maybe even have some fun in the process. But did I ever think that any of my hands-on lessons or outdoor projects made any lasting impression on my students? Not for a second.

But all of that changed one day when I received an email from Andy, a former student of mine. It left me absolutely speechless.

Hi Mr. Rhodes!  This email is likely to be out of left field since I haven't seen you in about fifteen years (assuming this is the correct "you"), so I apologize for potentially appearing to be an internet stalker.

Background:  I took geometry with you at Trabuco Hills High School in 1996/97 as a freshman and then struggled with algebra 2 honors the following year.  I am currently (after a rather circuitous journey) in a single subject credential program for chemistry at a local state college.

I have found myself bringing up your geometry class over and over again in class discussions of late, and reflecting somewhat extensively upon that time in my life.  Now, as I write the TPA 2 that is due this Monday, I just wanted to take a moment to tell you that it was a good class, and that it made a lasting impression.

So, thank you.

Wow! Fifteen years later and he’s still thinking about my little geometry class… and even discussing it with his classmates. In my wildest dreams, I never could have imagined that my teaching would leave such a lasting impression on any of my students.

So, here’s a word of encouragement as you prepare to go back into the classrooms (or as already there): Keep pursuing great teaching. Keep asking yourself how to make your lesson better, how to help your students understand deeper.

You are making a difference in the lives of your students. Never forget that. Some will thank you with a card or an coffee mug on Teacher Appreciation Day, and others may never say a thing. But don’t let that stop you from being the teacher they remember with fondness fifteen years from now.

Lesson: Get Your Kicks on Route 66 (Preview)

This is an example of the many lessons available only to MPJ Monthly subscribers.

Route 66 ThumbnailRapid Roy drives the highway to demonstrate that absolute value is the distance from zero.

SUBJECT: Pre-Algebra
TOPICS: Absolute value equations, inequalities
Preview Page 1

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