@Howard BealEven if he had a reserve to teach "off the
clock", I doubt that was his motivation i.e. had more time on his hands and
therefore decides to put in more teaching hours. Besides, that part is but one
component as to why his students have been successful.
Atta boy Craig'
I'm incredibly frustrated by the people who are trying to make this article
a political thing. Can't we just this once ignore politics and simply
appreciate how great of a teacher and person this man is? Common Core has
nothing to do with anything, there are FANTASTIC teachers who have spent their
whole life teaching, as well as absymal teachers who came into the profession at
a later age, and finally, while I agree teachers should be paid more, why does
this article need to answer that question? It doesn't.
"Smith...holds himself accountable to the results." This is an anathema
in an educational system dominated by labor unions and practices such as tenure.
No doubt he learned his work ethic and accountability from his time working for
an 'evil' corporation. "What we’re trying to do
is build confident, self-reliant, mentally tenacious and unafraid students who
are prepared for life." Amen. Self-reliance. What a concept?? So foreign to
those teaching children to rely on government, or look to government to solve
their problems."Calculus is a microcosm of life — if
you’re willing to put in the effort, you can learn it." Hallelujah! He
is teaching these kids the American Dream!
Wow! Just Wow! Believe it or not, I guarantee there are some people who read
this and are not happy. And there are even some who are angry. They wish he
wasn't there doing what he is. They would like to find a way to get rid of
him. Doing what he is doing, the way he is doing it, threatens so much of what
they are telling everyone about education. There are some important
takeaways here:"A non-traditional... teacher, Smith
graduated...in electrical engineering..., worked for oil-giant Exxon and then
spent several years...as a design engineer. He began his second career as a high
school teacher with no teaching experience. "It's his time
spent in the real world and his lack of "teaching experience" that makes
him so good. He has not bought into all of the liberal biases that seem to
permeate the public education system. (cont.)
What a great program. In my high school of 1200, there were only four in our
advanced math class that included calculus. Newton and Leibniz must be
proud.I have often maintained that everyone should have an
introduction to calculus concepts, even if they don't "do" calculus
(i.e. solve problems). You can cover the main ideas in a few class sessions.
Calculus is all about change. Arithmetic is for a static world, but the world
is dynamic and calculus gives you a framework for understanding it. Calculus
infuses everything in our lives: marginal costs in economics, interest rates
and the rule of 70 in finance, population growth, speed, acceleration-- all boil
down to calculus. Ohm's Law for electricity, Darcy's Law for
hydrology-- same thing. Calculus gets you thinking about change and rates of
change, gets you thinking about graphs not just as lines and curves but as
slopes and areas, all with meaning.When you are a carpet installer
figuring the area of a rectangular room and you think of it not as length times
width but as integrating dy/dx= "width" from 0 to "length", then
you've got it.
@Orem Parent-"Now what are we going to do to keep these great teachers
in the profession?"Start by scrapping Common Core. Nowhere in this
article or, I doubt, in Mr. Smith's philosophy will you find a
one-size-fits-all approach to excellence. On another note, I wonder
how much Mr. Smith uses student-coaches, allowing more advanced peers to help
those needing additional help. I found that I learned things at a lot deeper
level when I was helping someone else who was struggling.
One of many great teachers I have encountered here in Utah. Thanks for teaching
our children! I have found that just about every school in Utah has at least
one Mr. Smith on the faculty. We just usually don't get to hear about them
or celebrate them. Instead we have to read snippy comments about "failing
public education". We are truly lucky in this state for the dedicated
teachers and administrators. Thank you for highlighting one of them. Now what are we going to do to keep these great teachers in the profession?
I wonder how many years Mr. Smith can keep up that schedule. Usually stories
like this have the teacher leaving teaching in a few years. Lucky for those
students who have Mr. Smith now! I hope he breaks the mold and stays long term!
Having had Mr. Smith as a teacher, I can tell you he is every bit as incredible
as this article purports him to be. He makes Calculus fun and approachable by
being fun and approachable himself. Lone Peak has some serious problems when it
comes to the social scene, but the teachers there are incredible.
While I praise this article on the power of teachers and what some teachers do
off the clock to help their students, there is this other important reality. I
imagine is some ways Mr. Smith built up some money reserves in his previous job
to perhaps help him spend all this time with students on Saturdays or during his
Christmas break. All too often teachers don't have the luxury to do these
type of things. Many teachers have to take extra jobs to pay the bills which
start after school or on the weekends, during their summer months and even
during Christmas break. These type of jobs may or may not be tangential to
teaching and working with students such as coaching, but sometimes they are not.
I would like to see teachers get paid more so they could have this time to go
the extra mile for their students. More money for teachers might actually mean
better teaching because it could give this financial security for the truly
inspired like Mr. Smith to spend more time with their students rather than
scraping by doing other jobs just to augment their income.
I am a teacher as well. I teach Spanish, which makes me bilingual meaning I
could do a variety of other things for more money.I enjoy this work,
and know that everyday I am making a difference in society and impacting far
more lives than I would otherwise. My guess is that it's the same sentiment
for this excellent math teacher as well.
Mr. Smith sounds like an amazing person, and teacher, but this article fails to
address the most obvious question. Average teachers in Utah make
around 50k per year, and talented electrical engineers average well over 100k
per year. In a culture that equates money with respect (and free speech) why
has Craig chosen to leave tens of thousands of dollars on the table each year
to be a teacher? That's the question I would like this article
Thanks for a great article! It's nice to hear about good things teachers