G-TEAMS

Fellow Profile: Jordan Schettler

Jordan Schettler
  • G-TEAMS Cohort: 2010-11
  • Graduate Program: Mathematics
  • Teacher Partner: Charles Collingwood
  • School: Rincon High School
  • Grade level: 11-12
  • Topics: A.P. Calculus, Precalculus, and Statistics

"I have a deeply motivated interest in improving math and science education in this country. In order to inspire and empower our students, my teacher partner and I incorporate issues of social justice, environmental responsibility, and those things in life which are inherently interesting like black holes or Salvador Dali."

Research Interests

Jordan's research is in algebraic number theory, which can be described as the study of arithmetic properties of (generalized) integers. Jordan's specialized research area in number theory is Iwasawa theory. Jordan is also interested in math education and the mathematics of social justice. If you'd like to learn more about Jordan's research and download papers/projects, you can visit his homepage.

Classroom Activities

Jordan has been working swimmingly with Charles Collingwood at Rincon High School. Charles's classes this year are A.P. Calculus, Precalculus, and Statistics. A detailed account of Jordan's and Charles's work (including projects, lessons, etc.) at Rincon can be found on Jordan's Rincon Blog. Some of Jordan's goals for his classroom involvement include:

For Jordan's G-TEAMS experience, communication is key. This means a two-way street of finding ways of getting through to students and also getting the most out of lessons by demanding a high level of thoughtfully written solutions and papers on the students' end.

Lessons Learned

The experiences I've had thus far in the classroom, preparing projects/lectures, tutoring, and all that comes with being fully integrated in the high school, have been truly invaluable. I've become much much better at having the patience and perspective needed to deliver information in a variety of ways; an explanation which is sufficient for one student may not be for another. Speaking to a wide variety of audiences (and getting instant feedback from the teens) has definitely assisted in my development as a mathematician and an educator. My teacher partner Charles has also offered a lot of wisdom and I can't imagine working with anyone else.

I've also learned a great deal about classroom resources as well, making the most of what's available. This includes technology like SmartBoards, document cameras, and calculator tricks. I realized too that fellow classmates can be great resources since they speak each others' language; being able to recognize which students work well together and which distract each other has been another tool in the arsenal. In addition, knowing when to defer to my teacher partner and knowing when to step in with a well-placed comment is certainly an art form which undergoes makeovers on a regular basis.

After working alongside my teacher partner and seeing the responsibilities high school instructors have, I've gained a bunch of respect for what they are asked to do. Education is imperative to the country's long-term well being, yet our K-12 teachers are underappreciated. I plan to stay involved with high school math education in this country and continue to push for eliminating mediocrity in this subject.

Teaching Materials