Last year, Jacob Kellert travelled to Massachusetts for a week to visit the Harvard University campus to receive training for a program. Even though he was on a business trip, he made sure not to forget about his students back home. While he was away, he took time to make videos of himself teaching the lessons that he would be missing. He didn’t want his students to fall behind while he was gone or to struggle with the substitute teacher. He showed how important his students were to him, by always wanting the best for them.
Kellert has been teaching math at the Hood River Valley High School for eight years. He has always enjoyed math, but he did not always have a passion for teaching, so he looked into engineering and realized that he wasn’t interested in it. In college he was a private tutor, but he still wasn’t convinced that he enjoyed teaching. “I looked at my teachers and professors and they seemed miserable,” Kellert explains. He received a teaching degree but didn’t use it for five years. Kellert’s choice to become a teacher came from the fact that he enjoys interacting with people instead of sitting in an engineering lab working independently.
Although teaching may not have been something that Kellert has always loved, his way of teaching has made an impact on many. Senior Halle Campos states, “I’ve had bad teachers who just expect us to know what is going on, but Mr. Kellert has made me see math in a different way. It’s not as hard as it seems with his way of teaching.” His teaching style has helped students improve in math and even gain a passion for it. Junior Ariana Rodriguez says, “He definitely made me enjoy math more after taking his class, by making it easier. He helps students individually, not just all together.”
Kellert also takes time to help other students that aren’t in his classes too. “He doesn’t just care about his students, but others as well. He was always willing to listen to my problems, and he also helped me improve in math. It didn’t matter if I was a student of his or not.” says senior Elizabeth Bricker. Kellert takes time to give other students outside of his class the same quality of teaching as his own. His students aren’t the only ones that appreciate him and admire his teaching. His co-worker Robert Wellenstein states, “He has a very clear vision that math serves as a medium for students to become empowered and he champions that cause.”
Even though math can be seen as a boring subject to many, Kellert always makes sure to stay enthusiastic and positive all day, or at least he makes it seem that way. He recently volunteered to be department chair, and with that job comes a lot of responsibilities and stress. Even though it does not offer more pay, he wanted to help support the math teachers and students in another way. Even with such a big load on his plate, he still manages to stay positive and upbeat throughout the day.
By taking time out of his busy schedule to create videos to help his students, while on a business trip, he has showed how much his students mean to him. Kellert’s work has not gone unappreciated. He has made a great impact on many of his students and fellow teachers, by giving them a better understanding of math and even changing their view on the subject. He is constantly showing how much he cares about his students every day with his dedication and commitment.
By: Talon staff reporter, Emily Rodriguez