Liz Hylton, Math
There is an inherent beauty in the study of Mathematics. There is logic and order to math, and yet, math has so many practical applications.
The challenge for me as an instructor is to teach students to appreciate the beauty, as well as the usefulness of math. And that is not always an easy job. Students often get hung up on getting the "right answer" and they are afraid to "think wrong" or to turn work in that is less than perfect. They want to be told what to do and how to do it. This causes them to miss the learning that comes from exploring a concept. Math is much more than following algebraic processes and solving equations. Logic and statistical reasoning can be applied every day to what students hear, see and read.
I want students to develop a sense of wonder about how all the pieces fit together, to discover connections by making and testing conjecture, and to realize that mistakes are a natural part of the learning process. While this doesn't happen for all students, when it does happen...it is magic...and that is why I teach mathematics.
I am most inspired by the dedication and persistence of Clatsop students to pursue their education, regardless of the challenges and obstacles they may face. They simply amaze me.