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Kevin Tierney - High School Math

Kevin Tierney - High School Math

Where were you before you came to LPS?

Most recently, I taught in the special education department at Somerville High School for 3 years. It was there that I began to transition from teaching English as a Second Language to teaching mathematics. 

What is your favorite part of being an educator?

Any time I see a student able to do something they couldn't do before. For instance, if a student started the year unable to confidently do something like solve a three-step equation then they become able to do that it warms my heart! Additionally, it is wonderful watching students move from being able to do something with supports into becoming advanced or able to independently and confidently complete a task.

What is your most memorable student experience or favorite teaching moment? 

One that comes to mind is when I was teaching English as a Second Language at a high school in New Hampshire. A student stuck around after class to tell me that when she came to the US, she was so scared she didn't know enough English to talk to people and make friends. She now wanted to tell me that she made friends in large part because she had learned enough English - truly a heartwarming experience! 

How do you make learning fun/engaging for your students?

I want students to try and incorporate math into something meaningful in daily life. Learning data and mathematical equations is one thing, but it’s awesome to watch a student who is a sports fan to be able to analyze statistics in the sports they follow or for a student who likes video games to be able to use data to better play a game like Pokemon. I’m a firm believer in allowing students to use math for something they care about. 

What were you like as a student?

I was stressed and high achieving and a perfectionist. I loved mathematics, English, and Latin and was intimidated by history and science. 

What shows are you currently binge watching? 

Great British Bake Off - it’s so delightful! 

What is one food you wish had zero calories? 

Dunkin’ Frozen Coffee - it’s delightful but gets in the way of the macros! 

What is something you’re especially proud of? 

Growing up I never enjoyed sports. I was always bad and never knew why until I later found out I have Dyspraxia. I’m proud of taking on playing sports in my 30s - doing things like joining a gym or a flag football team. This was stuff that was intimidating and scary to me as a kid, now that I know more about myself, I can approach with the intention that this is going to be hard, but I can improve! 

Where is the best place you've traveled to and why? 

I used to live in Italy and there are so many amazing places that I got to see, the coolest was probably going to the village that my great grandmother was born in. I got to walk around the town and do research on my family that ended in me showing up and knocking on a distant cousin’s door.