Mr. Stanley is the newest Math teacher at College Prep
What did you do before you came to College Prep?
For six years I had been teaching in San Francisco, and then last school year my wife and I actually lived in Albuquerque. I was teaching out there at a small independent school pretty similar to College Prep.
Did you go to school in the Bay Area?
No, I grew up in Chicago so I went to school out in Chicago at a pretty large private school with 1,600 kids. I grew up in the Midwest.
What was your first impression of CPS?
How comfortable everyone felt. The first person I spent any time with was Ms. Thomas. I observed her class and how easily the students interacted with her, and how she interacted with them, like joking around. That day they happened to go outside to do a compass assignment, which seemed pretty cool.
What do you hope to achieve here at CPS?
I guess to hopefully show kids that math can be fun and enjoyable – and that even if it’s not something they’re into, it doesn’t mean it’s not something they can be good at, or at least figure out, even if they don’t necessarily want to pursue it on their own.
What was your high school like?
It was big, but it was good. The teachers were very involved with the students and definitely knew all of us, even though there were a lot of us. It was a good academic school, but it was also a big sports school. So, you know, going to football games and basketball games and hockey games and all that stuff was a big deal. I wasn’t that into it, but it was still fun to go.
Who was your most inspiring/influential math teacher?
Oh that’s easy: Mr Regic. He was my junior year Precalculus teacher, and he was awesome. He could explain things well, he made you think, and he made you want to work harder. And he was very caring, like if you were having a bad day, he kind of would let you have a bad day, and not make it worse. But then the next day, he’d check in and make sure everything was okay. He was very demanding in class, but if he could tell you weren’t up for it that day, he’d kind of lay off a little bit, which was nice.
Was there a deciding moment when you know you wanted to teach?
Um, I think so. I think I started in engineering and I hated it. And I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I had already been tutoring in the sports center at my university. The people that were on sports teams missed a lot of class, so they had a tutoring center for them. I was already tutoring there, and I just started to realize how much I enjoyed explaining things and seeing people understand things because I had helped them. And so I think towards the end of my freshman year of college, I thought: yeah, I want to be a teacher; this is what I want to do. So I don’t know if it was a single moment, but it definitely came together because of tutoring in the student athlete center.