Explore the Impact of Academic Mentorship
“My Mentor…” posts are short pieces written by members of the Trilogy community to highlight their passion and the mentors that had an impact in their lives. This post is written by Andrew L. He’s certified to teach math for grades 6-12, and has taught 6th grade math, 8th grade Intro to Algebra, and Algebra 1. He has experience teaching Common Core State Standards and Eureka Math, coached baseball, football, and soccer, and is currently a grad student at the University of Phoenix working towards a Master of Science in Accounting. His interests are wide-spread; from fishing and hunting to games and sports. Andrew’s newest hobby is traveling around the country with his amazing wife as they work and explore… and ski.
Why is education important to you?
Math is a subject that can cause confusion and frustration because of its complexity and irrelevance to many people’s lives. Students sometimes approach the math classroom with an uneasy feeling, wondering how hard it will be this year. I love education because it gives me a chance to instill a sense of wonder and excitement for math. Math has always been something that interested me. It’s one giant puzzle where one piece leads to another, and pieces you have seen before fit together in unexpected ways. If students are interested in a subject, they tend to do better because they are more confident and engaged. I want to help students develop a curiosity for math so they can go into a math classroom genuinely interested in solving the puzzle.
What do you enjoy most about being an academic mentor?
Being an academic mentor has given me the opportunity to work one-on-one with students who want to be successful. In a classroom of 30 students, you always want to give more attention to your individual students than time allows. Mentorship is a great way for students to be connected with someone who can help them succeed in every area. I get to help students grow in a flexible, convenient, and safe environment. I am not just a math tutor; I am a mentor, a guide, and a support.
I also love the flexibility of Trilogy’s online program. I can mentor students anywhere where there is Wi-Fi and a computer. My wife and I are currently traveling around the United States for work, and it gives us ample time to explore and discover new things. I don’t have to choose between travelling, working, and going to college; I can have it all! I loved being an educator and did not want to give that up when this traveling option presented itself to us. Mentoring students online has been a blessing in more than one way. I get to positively impact the lives of students and grow in my experiences at the same time.
Who was an influential mentor that impacted your life? How did they help you grow?
When I was in college attaining my Bachelor’s in Math Education, I was paired with a supervising teacher (we will refer to her as Mrs. L) who molded me into becoming the math teacher I am today. The books and presentations can only prepare you so much for becoming an educator. The real lessons come when you are in the classroom (pun intended) surrounded by glaring eyes. Mrs. L helped me see what it really takes to make an impact in the lives of students. She guided me, offered help even when I didn’t ask for it, and worked with me to develop proven strategies that supported my style of teaching. She didn’t try to make me into a teacher I didn’t want to be, but showed me how to effectively utilize my personality and knowledge into my classroom. When I messed up, she told me. When I did something excellent, she praised me. I always had sticky notes of tips she would write and place on my folder. I had the privilege of being her coworker at the same school when I graduated college. Even now, I consider her my mentor and will contact her any time I need help or suggestions on how to approach something in education.
If you are looking for an academic mentor in middle or high school Mathematics, ask for Andrew!
For more on Trilogy's Mentors, follow our "My Mentor..." series.
Here is our last post from Binal P. - The Impact of Academic Mentorship