You Can Count On Me

New teacher explains her passion for math


Photo by Savanna Clapp

On Aug. 26, math teacher Emelie Scanlon sits behind her desk. Scanlon teaches both Algebra 1 and College Prep Math.

by Savanna Clapp, Reporter

Down the hall, through the doors of room 1213, past the calendars spread across a whiteboard, and around the students filing in for class, is a computer placed on the right side of an organized desk, and behind the computer sits mathematics teacher Emelie Scanlon.

This is Scanlon’s first year teaching at the high school level. Scanlon teaches both Algebra 1 and College Prep Math. 

“I like high schoolers,” Scanlon said. “High schoolers are hilarious, and I can relate to them. I also like high school math a lot. It’s really fun.”

Scanlon said her love for math in high school led her to become a teacher. 

As I took more classes and learned more about math outside of school, I started to see how much beauty there is in math that you don’t typically see in school,” Scanlon said. “I wanted to take what I [had] learned and show others just how great math can be, and teaching is the best way to do that.

— Emelie Scanlon

Previously, she worked for a family providing one-on-one tutoring with their children as well as tutoring all grade levels for around two years. So far, Scanlon said getting to know her students is what she likes best about teaching at the high school level. 

I like when the students actually laugh at my jokes,” Scanlon said. “It’s kind of cool to see that different ages think I’m funny. They don’t [always] think I’m funny, but that’s fine. I just enjoy talking [with my] students.”

Out of all the different types of math, Scanlon said teaching geometry is her favorite.

“I like geometry because it’s very visual,” Scanlon said. “I think it helps the people that have struggled in algebra in the past and allows them to see math in a new light. So in my classes, I’ll try to incorporate a little bit of geometry however I can.”

Scanlon said her favorite moments while teaching is when her students have an ‘aha’ moment.

“If they’re completely lost and then something I say, something someone else says or something they see online clicks is one of my favorite things,” Scanlon said. “[To see] when a person’s mood or attitude changes and their face lights up like ‘Oh I understand it, I get it, I’m smart.'”

If Scanlon could tell her students one thing, it would be not to be afraid to make mistakes.

“I make mistakes all the time,” Scanlon said. “But it’s only whenever you make mistakes that you know how to go back and fix them, so you can avoid making the same mistakes again. That’s something you don’t get if you get something correct 100% of the time.”