What’s math got to do with it?
Courtney Roe opens each of her classes with a devotional. She often focuses on teaching her students how to love other people better and uses Jesus as an example for how to do it. Then, she switches to teaching middle school math. It might come as a surprise that Mrs. Roe begins her class time focused on lessons from the Gospels instead of jumping into solving algebraic equations, but not when you work at a Christian school. “My relationship with Jesus is the most important part of my life. I love that I can be vulnerable in a way that you wouldn’t be able to at a public school,” Mrs. Roe comments.
When Mrs. Roe isn’t connecting with her students over her love for Jesus, she is teaching middle school Pre-Algebra and Algebra One. Mrs. Roe thought she was going to pursue a science degree and become a Pediatrician, but then changed her emphasis to math in college because “I’ve always found math super easy to explain.” Mrs. Roe considers herself a logical thinker and so the black and white nature of math is appealing. “I love the way that math just makes sense, and you can always know, ‘Am I right or am I wrong?’ It’s fun trying to figure out a problem.”
Mrs. Roe understands that not all her students are going to share her affinity toward math or that it will become their favorite subject in school. She does, however, want them to have a growing excitement about math. “I want my students to gain a better understanding of mathematics as a whole and to see how things fit together.” Her goal for her students is that they would be able to reason and problem solve because math helps you think logically and “you will use logic every single day of your life.”
In addition to loving the school environment and the community at New Life, Mrs. Roe loves the impact she can have on a student’s life. She’s motivated to teach knowing that something she says could be remembered by a student forever. Some of the most gratifying moments as a teacher come when her students have a “lightbulb moment.” It usually happens when a student finally understands a math lesson and makes progress in an area that was previously a struggle.
Mrs. Roe has also found herself in an unexpected coaching role for the girls’ tennis team. “I didn’t not expect to be coaching at all. I played in college.” She started off as an assistant coach, and then quickly moved on to head coach. It has turned into a fun way for her to connect with older students and their parents and gives herself a chance to play.
Excellent teachers that care and connect with their students make all the difference. We’re so grateful for the enthusiasm and passion Mrs. Roe has for teaching, and for the many ways she helps her students discover all that God created them to be.