Mathematics teacher, Mr. Andrew Mayle, realized his love and skill for math when he was in high school. Later on, in college, he realized his love for teaching math when he started tutoring his fellow classmates. After earning Bachelors of Science in Mathematics from Slippery Rock University, and gaining PA Certification in Mathematics 7-12, Mr. Mayle joined the workforce as a teacher.
When asked why he wanted to become a teacher, Mr. Mayle explained, “My answer is different from a lot of other people’s answers. I didn't decide to be a teacher until later in life.”
“When I was in college I discovered that I was good at tutoring other classmates in math,” he explained. “Once I started tutoring, I really enjoyed it. I saw students finally understanding their work and it was a thrill for me.”
“The happiness that I saw in those students made it worth it for me,” he added.
Mr. Mayle wanted to transfer his appreciation for math into a career, so he thought, being a math teacher would be perfect.
When Mr. Mayle first arrived at PA Distance three years ago, he began teaching as a math interventionist as an educator devoted to helping students who have been unsuccessful in a traditional setting by providing additional time and resources to help them succeed. Currently, Mr. Mayle is teaching high School Algebra, Practical Math, and Geometry, in addition to being the sponsor to PA Distance Learning’s very first Chess Club!
“I love teaching Algebra,” he said. “It’s like solving riddles and showing my students how to crack a code. It’s also cool that there’s more than one right way to solve each problem. I tell my students that I don't care so much about the final answer but explaining how you got to the answer.”
Mr, Mayle is excited to be teaching Geometry this year, which is a new course for him.
“I’m looking forward to teaching my students all of the great things about it,” he said. “I want to teach them that they can find Geometry applications all around them.”
In Practical Math, Mr. Mayle focuses on Career Education and Work topics. He teaches about the types of mathematics students might need to use in various careers. From careers in engineering to sports statisticians, Mr. Mayle highlights a wide range of careers that use math on a daily basis.
“I have students look at the mathematics behind the career choices they are interested in and what kinds of math they might expect to see within it,” he said. “Basically every career involves math in some way, shape, or form and my students are sometimes surprised to learn that.”
“I’m a huge math nerd,” he said. “I really enjoy the applications to the real world.”
Mr. Mayle worked to build his knowledge by pursuing a Master’s in Education in Secondary Mathematics to add to his teaching skills.
“When I started to take higher level math classes I began to appreciate the patterns and rules that were in the topics,” he said. “I tell my students that they can look out their window and apply math to the world - in nature and in man-made things.”
Overall, Mr. Mayle enjoys teaching at PA Distance and admits that, at first, he was wary about teaching in a cyber setting. However, that mindset quickly changed.
“I was pleasantly surprised how well organized, supportive, and hands-on things are here,” he said.
“When I started working with students, I felt like I could create meaningful bonds with them,” he explained. “We use the same tools as in a brick-and-mortar school and they’re just translated into an online environment. When I realized this, my worries disappeared.”
“I can help students in a cyber setting just as well as in a brick-and-mortar setting,” he added. “I also feel like it's easier to connect with my students in this setting. I’m always available for them if they need help or if they just want to talk.”
Mr. Mayle thinks that, by far, PA Distance educators make the difference in the quality of education that students receive.
“You cannot say that a student would receive a higher quality education in a brick-and-mortar setting than you would here at PA Distance. The level of compassion that the teachers have here is amazing.”
After all, PA Distance is Where Teaching Still Matters.