When the question, "What is your intended major?" arises, and I've grown accustomed to the usual response of surprise or distaste when I answer, "math." However, rarely does the topic of math hold a friend's interest long enough to elaborate on the reason that I so firmly make this statement.
Seldom does a West Point and M.I.T. graduate and retired military officer settle down for a modest salary in a low-profile private school, having by choice left his well-respected teaching position at West Point.
Furthermore, as the motive cannot be monetary, the only possible (and here accurate) conclusion must be a deeper desire to minister to the students he will encounter. And if a man has found this much success through perseverance and patience and many years of avid study, shall we agree that similar success as a teacher in a classroom must be a reality?
I'll enthusiastically hold to this point. Providence has placed me in the classroom of Jack Hook in geometry, Algebra II, pre-calculus and Advanced Placement Calculus during the past four years, and oh, how I wish that each student might have a teacher such as him at least once in a lifetime.
Mr. Hook does everything in his power to prepare his students for the next mathematical level, to develop in them an appreciation of math, to establish a working knowledge of each concept covered and to leave "no stone unturned" as far as questions and possibilities are concerned. All the while he is subconsciously "building kingdom leaders" (our school motto), being the model example himself, maintaining a level of intelligence we refer to as "genius," and keeping his max time taken to work a Rubik's Cube down to about three minutes.
He humbly offers all that a teacher can offer and has succeeded in giving me the aspiration to have a glimpse of the same impact that he has had on so many students' lives.
I uphold that the SAT math sub-score of which I am so pleased must only be attributed to my instructor, Mr. Hook. Many times I have come to him with questions and soon after left with both clarification and admiration. Never one to claim credit, Mr. Hook has received respect from each of his students due to the humility with which he patiently urges and facilitates a better understanding of each course he teaches.
I do not entertain the idea of attaining the same influence, but I hope that one day others will receive teaching of a comparable caliber from me as I endeavor to follow in his footsteps. The appreciation I harbor is inexpressible. I suppose I'll just sit back, listen and prepare to absorb the plethora of knowledge he's soon to relate before that final AP Calculus exam.
Helen Cave is Augusta Christian Schools' 2008 STAR student, and selected Jack Hook as her STAR teacher.
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