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Educators and Tools that Inspire.
Education has been at the cornerstone of my life, all my life. Whether it is the tool that empowers me to know and do new things, or the medium through which I empower others, education is key not just to my success but to my joy. And I’ve always believed it can be that for all of us, but life throws us around and the idea of learning new things feels more like work or chores than pleasure.
Working in college access for over 15 years, I’ve definitely seen students lose their love of learning, sometimes to distractions or to hardships, but sometimes also because of the way education is fed to them. We cannot expect students to be engaged if we do not make an effort to engage them. We cannot expect students to meet us where we are if we can’t bother to meet them where they are. I have met some of the most phenomenal educators in my life, from Alerie Flandez in San Jose, Meghann Panagsagan Seril in Los Angeles, to Karla Talkoff in Daly City. A common thread is that they see the student as human, don’t lose sight of their potential, and they themselves love to learn and strive to find new ways to teach the different personalities and learning styles they meet every single day.
I appreciate strategies that educators like Buddy Galletti have used to learn and to teach. Buddy was a Teaching Assistant for SCS Noonan Scholars (South Central Scholars when I worked there). Instead of going the route of teacher, he took a different, and totally interesting path. He became a researcher for Cal Poly, then a content developer for educational materials, and now he’s a software engineering student. Most of all, he’s a Mathematics Education enthusiast, and he’s been sharing his passion with the world with Buddy’s Math Problem of the Week. Buddy has taken his love of math, board games, sci-fi, and all kinds of awesome interests, to create puzzles for students.
Buddy is an educator that inspires me because he accepted his love for teaching, but also his desire to teach in ways that aligned with his own passions and interests. A lover of learning, he is back at school and every week he is applying what he learns in the world and in the field to a new problem for students to munch on. Buddy’s Math POW is an inspiring tool because these puzzles are fun, visual, and Buddy will reward you for your efforts. If you complete the puzzle, submit it, and get it right, he’ll list your name in the next week’s puzzle announcement!
I hope you are inspired to find other cool learning tools out there, or to create your very own. Comment below some great learning tools you have used or hope to try in the near future. Also, be sure to check out our AdvancED Toolbox for some of our favorite tools.
About Author: Meredith "Mer" Curry
Mer has always had a passion for education and helping historically underrepresented groups achieve access and success to higher opportunities. She has consulted nonprofits, educational institutions, and businesses in addition to her volunteerism and mentorship of students.
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