Student Experience: Why I Want to Be a Math Teacher

by Morgan Rogers

“I love math!” This is the phrase that Jessica Logan ’21 remembered from her childhood education. In the second grade, she had a teacher who asked every student to exclaim it each day during attendance.

It was an experience Logan hasn’t forgotten. This memory, paired with her time at Azusa Pacific University, encouraged Logan to pursue a career as a math teacher.

Logan is a liberal studies major with a concentration in mathematics. Although that second-grade experience was a memorable one, she didn’t join the program expecting to focus on math. It wasn’t until she took a class with Professor Mark Arvidson, Ph.D., that her elementary school excitement for math was revived.

Arvidson opened each class by reading his students a children’s book, then using the story as an illustration to show the mathematical correlation between the aspiring teachers’ lives and those of elementary school students. Through this teaching method, he proposed that they could use math to better connect to their future students and help them enjoy and understand the subject.

For Logan, teaching math isn’t just about numbers; it’s about fighting against the fearful stigma of math in the classroom. “Math isn’t scary,” she explained. “It’s an opportunity to learn how to do something, and it gives us many avenues to get to one answer.” Logan hopes to correct the daunting stereotypes about the subject and to instill in her students the same excitement for math that was instilled in her.

Morgan Rogers is an editor in the Office of University Relations.