An Addition to the Math Faculty – Mr. Fuhr

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An Addition to the Math Faculty – Mr. Fuhr

Click here to read about Gilbert Fuhr

Click here to read about Gilbert Fuhr

Click here to read about Gilbert Fuhr

Click here to read about Gilbert Fuhr

Chloe Morbelli, Author

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An interview was conducted on September 14 at 2p.m. with a new member of the Westford Academy math faculty, Gilburt Fuhr. He currently teaches geometry and algebra classes.

Q: “Can you first tell me a bit about your background?”

A: “This is my twentieth year teaching. I taught at a camp called Nature’s Classroom for seven years [environmental field trip based camp for elementary school children that promoted hands on teaching], then I taught Middle School in Woodstock, New York for three years, high school math for seven years, and now I’m going to continue teaching high school math at Westford Academy. “

Q: “What is your educational background?”

A: “My undergraduate work was done at the college of New Jersey, it was a double major in mathematics and secondary education. Then my master’s work was done at Suny New Paltz.”

Q: “When you went into college, did you know you wanted to major in math?”

A: “I knew I wanted to be a teacher, it was a compromise between my father and I – he wanted me to be an engineer, I wanted to be an english teacher.”

Q: “How does Westford Academy compare to where you previously taught?”

A: “Very different, I can already tell that the kids are very strong at taking initiative. Something that attracted me to Westford was that they have a great reputation, far and wide, of how much they value education. Kids go to class and say thank you to their teachers, and that’s very special. I don’t know if the kids realize it, but as a teacher it’s very special. The fact that kids here display their gratitude is symptomatic of a much bigger thing, and I’m excited to learn about this bigger thing.”

Q: “Can you describe to me your teaching style?”

A: “I’m probably boring because it’s math. I love math because I’m nerd, and I never thought I would like the subject as much as I did until I started teaching it. Math is like riding a bike – you either get it or you don’t, but that moment when you get it you realize how all your hard work and effort has payed off, and that’s a very special feeling.”

Q: “Can you describe your teaching philosophy?”

A: “I suspect people really become themselves when they struggle, I think that’s true if you’re a runner or if you exercise. You don’t become the person of your potential until you push yourself. I think a teacher’s job is to find the tipping point where a student starts to struggle but then to make sure that this student knows  they’re safe, and that the teacher is not going to let them tip too far and become overwhelmed. That’s a relationship that takes a lot of trust.”

Q: “What are some of the achievements you feel most proud?”

A: “I love to read – my last year in college I read 10,000 pages, and I always try to get back to that for each calendar year. When I got out of college and worked at Nature’s Classroom I only worked seven months out of the year, so I would travel a lot. I always liked to try new things – I worked as a ski liftee in Aspen, I worked as a backpacking guide in Maine and Michigan, I worked as a horse wrangler in Wyoming, and I visited all fifty states, driving around in an old pickup truck. When traveling you meet a lot of different people with different perspectives on the world. “

Q: “Is there anything else I should know?”

A: “Everyone should do their homework, it’s a big deal.”