Behind the radicals

Inlet Grove has five mathematical teachers: Mr. Rodney Plancher (“Mr. R”), Ms. Reyes, Mr. Petty, Mrs. Williams and Mr. Doby. They teach everything from Algebra 1 to College Readiness Math. In case students or faculty ever wanted to know their take on teaching in this field, they have told us.

How long have you been teaching at Inlet Grove?

“I started working at Inlet Grove this year,” said Mr. R

“Ten years,” said Ms. Reyes.

“One year,” said Mrs. Williams.

“Three years,” Mr. Doby.

“Two years,” said Mr. Petty.

What topics do you teach in math?

“Algebra 2 and Math for College Readiness, to be specific,” said Mr. R

“Algebra 1, Geometry, Pre-Calculus, Algebra 2 as well,” said Ms. Reyes.

“Liberal Arts and Algebra 1,” said Mrs. Williams.

“Mostly Algebra 1, Algebra 2 and sometimes Geometry,” said Mr. Doby.

“I am certified to teach any course in High School Mathematics. This year, I am teaching Pre-Calculus, Calculus, Liberal Arts 2 and Geometry,” said Mr. Petty.

Which, in your opinion, is the hardest subject for students to understand?

“I think Math for College Readiness and the reason for that is because a lot of them haven’t been in a math class for a while and they’re taking it (this class) to go to college and they don’t remember anything. They have to start from the basics: imaginary numbers, working with square roots, and working with powers,” said Mr. R

“Calculus honors or AP (Advanced Placement) Calc., because it’s a higher level class. It’s a college level class that we offer in high school and if you pass the AP exam then you get three college credits,” said Ms. Reyes.

“The quadratic equations,” said Mrs. Williams.

“It depends on what subject area. I’d say for Algebra 1 probably dealing with radicals, but even then I can also say that some students have some difficulty with skills that they didn’t understand in previous grades. That makes it more challenging to bring them up to speed to where they should be,” said Mr. Doby.

“There is no specific topic. The most difficult skill for students to apply is when they use all of the small concepts together to help solve a greater problem,” said Mr. Petty.

What is the most difficult thing you have to deal with when it comes to students?

“I think towards the senior year, they’re not there anymore. This senior year, these guys were completely gone like a month before their last day,” said Mr. R.

“The attitudes, it’s not the subject itself. The attitudes (are the most difficult because) every student has a different way of looking at the subject. For some it’s easy, for some it’s not. Some have issues at home, some just don’t like math. That’s why it depends on the perspective of the students when doing the work in class,” said Ms. Reyes.

Do you do anything besides teaching, at Inlet?

I’m running the National Honors Society. That’s on top of my load. For any student to join the NHS, first of all the GPA has to be 3.5 and they must have other activities, it’s not really a requirement but it’d be nice if they are already involved in other activities like school clubs and out of school clubs like church because that will show that they have leadership already,” said Ms. Reyes.

“We have tutoring Tuesday through Wednesday and we had Saturday tutoring for the EOC the last two Saturdays,” said Mrs. Williams.

“I usually tutor Wednesdays after school for about an hour from 3:15 to 4:15. I tutor after school and for EOC I was here Tuesdays through Thursdays helping students get ready for the Algebra 1 EOC,” said Mr. Doby

“I tutor seniors at Inlet Tuesdays and Thursdays,” said Mr. R.

“I attend some athletics and have done some Saturday tutoring,” said Mr. Petty.

What did you go to college for?

“I went to college at UCF and I went for Math Education,” said Mr. R.

“Bachelors of Science in Physics in the Philippines”, said Ms. Reyes.

“I went to school for business. My first year of teaching was at Inlet Grove in the early 2000’s and I was a Business teacher for Inlet Grove, the Business teacher came back and they placed me in Mathematics. Because I wasn’t technically certified in Mathematics, although in Business courses they teach you all about math, I went back to college and now I have two master’s degrees. One in Business and one in Mathematics”, said Mrs. Williams.

“I went to University of Florida. My degrees actually in Anthropology,” said Mr. Doby.

“I went to college to become a teacher and to learn Advanced Mathematics,” said Mr. Petty.

What is any advice that you have for students that may be taking your class next year?

“Take math very seriously because every single thing you do for the rest of your life is going to involve it. I mean every single thing,” said Mr. R

“All I ask of them is to do all the class work, be very diligent about it, do the homework, and study for the test and pass the EOC with a level 5,” said Ms. Reyes.

“My advice mostly would be, be consistent. Be prepared for class and practice your skills because the only way you’re going to be successful is if you can do consistent practice. That way you’ll be more comfortable with the content,” said Mr. Doby.

“Don’t wait. There is no guarantee that you will learn everything that you need to learn from your teachers. There are plenty of resources that outline what you need to know. You can start practicing for the SAT right now on Khan Academy. You can prepare for your Algebra 1 FSA on Algebra Nation by watching videos and doing the test yourself,” said Mr. Petty.