Catch this story on National Public Radio today?
Jake Scott, a math teacher and wrestling coach in Silver Spring, Maryland, draws students in with clever ways to memorize formulas.
“Keeping control of the class is one thing, but holding their attention through complicated calculations and theorems is another challenge altogether. So Scott gets a little extra help from his alter ego, 2 Pi.
“About three years ago, Scott started infusing rap into his lessons.”
He describes to NPR’s David Greene his early lack of success in school, his time on the streets, the help he received from taking up wrestling, and the reasons he eventually got into math.
” ‘You know, when my dad lost his sight, I started doing accounting for him, and math was the one area that I was able to succeed in,’ Scott says. ‘Because of my time in the streets, my vocabulary wasn’t very extensive, and so I shied away from English. I was bored to death by history. Math, on the other hand — I didn’t need to know how to speak well in order to do well in math, so that was very helpful, when I look back. It helped me to grow in my appreciation for numbers.’
“Scott says that one of his most important goals as a teacher is to make meaningful connections with his students. This drive to connect with the kids in his classroom influenced him to begin rapping as 2 Pi.
” ‘I mean, I think that we can preach to kids until they turn blue and we turn blue, but if there’s no connection, then there’s no response,’ Scott says. ‘I mean, I constantly search for ways to connect with students — with the language, with conversations, music.” Read more here.