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One Minute with an Educator: Mr. Todd

Name: Shawn Todd

Years in education: Since 1995

Subject/Grade assignment this school year: Advanced Algebra, Algebra 2, Physics, Digital Photography

What was your favorite subject in school? Math

What is your favorite weekend activity? Being with my family

What is your favorite holiday? Easter

What are you most looking forward to in your curriculum this month? Right now, we are covering Newton’s Laws in Physics, which I really enjoy. Hopefully, we will have time to do some work with the 3D printer. But, I am also looking forward to seeing how my Algebra 2 students do on their test over polynomials. The polynomial topic is difficult for many students. The results will let me know how much they learned and areas that I need to teach better.

What are your students learning this week? In Physics, we are applying friction in Newton’s 2nd law. In Algebra 2, we are trying to find all the solutions to polynomial functions with and without technology. In Advanced Algebra, we are working on compound inequalities. In Digital Photography, we are working on finishing the cover for this year’s yearbook, analyzing Fall sports pages to make sure they fit with our theme, and editing and organizing Fall photos.

What is your greatest motivator as a teacher? Learning new things. Just this week, I gave my students in Algebra 2 a problem to solve. Two of my students took up the task and came up with two different methods for solving the problem. I could explain more about how the solved the problem, but it would take a long time. Suffice it to say, they both worked very hard at it. One student found a way that all the math teachers would have solved the problem. Another student, discovered a way that several (including myself) math teachers had not thought of. That is my motivation. Every day I get to interact with the students trying to teach some subjects that many students are not fond of. Each hour of class I learn a little more about how to teach my subjects based on the questions from students and learning their thought process on the material. To me, that is very fun. (But it does tick me off when a student finds a better method of solving a problem than myself.)

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