Educator of Math | Teen Ink

Educator of Math

April 3, 2009
By Nina Buckelew GOLD, Hartland, Wisconsin
Nina Buckelew GOLD, Hartland, Wisconsin
10 articles 0 photos 0 comments

I expected my junior year math to be my hardest subject. I was average in it. I thought I would come in, talk with some friends through the lessons, and make up some numbers for the homework questions. I thought that would be enough to pass. But I was wrong; I would surpass these expectations.
This class was different because of Mr. Leoni. Mr. Leoni was laid back, but stern. In this class, I sat down, did not talk, and listened intensively. There was a genuine care to his tone, which eased the sternness. Kids participated in class. Kids did their homework because it was graded. Kids cared about showing up to fourth hour.
He educates with structure and an unbiased style. His knowledge of the problems showed through when questions were asked. He answered them promptly, without doubt. His brain focuses on getting the lesson to every student. Mr. Leoni only gave out homework that benefited students and allowed students to figure out the problems without straining. He knows when to push back lessons and allow more time; he knows when lessons are over-planned.
I learned concepts last year for the first time since middle school. What I learned in class, I put to pencil and paper confidently on test, quizzes, and homework. I finished my junior math course with an impression that senior math would not be average, but something I could excel in.
Then, I was half way through my first semester of senior math. I was struggling. In desperation, I sent an email to Mr. Leoni asking him to meet me for help. He agreed with no hesitation. I went into to see him every other day, stealing one of his prep periods. He sat down next to me and over saw my homework, test corrections, and questions. He took the time to look ahead of his class schedule of the lessons to be prepared to help me with mine. I could not ask for a more compassionate math teacher when I needed him most academically.

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