If you’ve read my blog post ““I Wish I Could Have…” On Mathematics and Motivation“, you’re familiar with my relationship with math and the history of how how my Dad became a math professor. If you haven’t read it yet, check it out. Don’t worry, I’ll wait.
So, when we left our intrepid adventurer, she was finally considering a more optimistic view of her ability to learn, and also thinking about not typing in third person anymore because it’s really irritating.
I am proud to announce (Is it really an announcement if it’s an anonymous blog post? A question for the ages.) that I officially printed off math placement tests, and secured a tutor for when I need an assist. I also told my kiddo that I was doing it, and once he knows, I’m pretty much trapped into doing it. Which was very much on purpose.
I also discovered something incredible.
I had known that my Dad was one of the earlier teacher’s to get into online education, or Long Distance Learning, as it was called when he did it. I remembered him working painstaking hours on everything from adapting a syllabus or entire textbook to work in an online medium, to practicing speaking in front of a camera, and eventually, to publishing his own textbooks and notes for his students, that corresponded with each of his classes.
I have lots of fond and motivating memories of him developing all of it, starting with me teaching him how to open Power Point on a computer, and growing into this incredible thing that allowed him to teach and inspire people from all over the world. It was an amazing evolution to be privy to.
And I just found out that my mom found a set of every single one of the DVD’s he made for his classes. Meaning, I have basically every class he taught, from remedial college algebra to advanced conceptual mathematics, all on video. He didn’t just inspire me; now, even after his death, he can be my teacher.
Videos or not, that’s what is so incredible about teaching. It never stops. It never ends. Planting the seed of curiosity in someone’s mind is like creating a wonderful virus. It continues traveling, throughout future history, even long after the original teacher is gone.