Real Stories: From MathWizard Student to Teacher — Abshaar Narvel

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 What happens to students after they graduate from our programs? As MathWizard turns 15 years old, we have begun to see our students turn into adults. Our former students have grown into impressive adults with great stories to tell. One former student in particular has a special story: Abshaar Narvel. She has turned from student to a teacher at the MathWizard center in Dublin, Ohio. Abshaar was a student at the Dublin, Ohio center around the time that it first opened in 2006. Now, she is a senior at The Ohio State University and a teacher at MathWizard. As you will see in the interview, she has a unique perspective on the program—as a teacher and as a student.

Q: What was your favorite part of MathWizard when you were a student?

A: I loved that MathWizard had such small classrooms. The teacher would teach us the material for the week, then let us work individually, and then let us work as a group at the end.  Overall, I was able to experience it all.  I felt comfortable and enjoyed coming to MathWizard! 

Q: Did MathWizard help you achieve any of your educational goals? Which ones?

A: I was always an over-achiever. MathWizard helped me get ahead of the school’s curriculum, so that I could get good grades. Moreover, I actually learned extra concepts in MathWizard.  MathWizard kept challenging and motivating me to improve and compete with myself to be better.

Q: How long after you completed your MathWizard studies did you apply to be a teacher?

A: 8 years later, as I am finishing my fourth year of college.

Q: Which subjects do you teach?

A: 1st and 2nd grade Math and English

Q: What is your favorite thing about MathWizard as a teacher?

A: I enjoy teaching the younger kids because I can actually see them progressing as they learn the material, which is heartwarming.  When I was a student, I always thought that the teachers here had to create their own lessons from scratch, but I found out that the material is created to help the teachers. I read through the lesson and teach it in my own teaching style.

Q: What educational goals have you helped your students reach?

A: I think that I have helped my students understand the foundational skills they will need. I think that it is important because once the concept is understood, they can easily apply it to anything and anywhere.

Q: Would you recommend teaching at MathWizard to your friends and family?

A: Yes!  I think teaching at MathWizard is very beneficial. At first, I was going to apply and work at a retail store, but then I ran into MathWizard at The Ohio State University website.  I was very happy that I got the interview.  Working here taught me how to have responsibilities dealing with other staff members, students, and parents.  It is rewarding because I am helping to better the future.

Q: Would you recommend your friends and family to join their kids in MathWizard?

A: Yes! I think that MathWizard is good for all students.  I think the students who are behind will gain so much. Since the classrooms are small, they can get individualized teaching.  The teacher can pay attention to each student. I remember when I had a question as a student, my teacher would come up to me and handle my question individually until I understood it. 

 For students who are ahead, I think MathWizard challenges them to set higher goals, and the teachers keep them motivated.  I have always been ahead in math. Math in high school was easy for me.  When I used to come here, I would try to beat my time, be the first one to finish, and be the one who could answer the questions. I think that many students do what I did.

 Lastly, for all students, no matter their levels, it is good that they are following along. It is nice because MathWizard offers customized math drills.  The teacher can always move them up and challenge them to learn new math skills at their own pace.

 Q: Any other comments about being a student and teacher at MathWizard?

A: I have enjoyed my time here very much, and I hope that MathWizard succeeds in growing bigger and helping many more students in the future!

 Abshaar, who is now in her fourth year of college, will soon be graduating from The Ohio State University.  She will be continuing her education in medical school and will specialize in ankle surgery at Rosalind Franklin School of Podiatry Medicine.

Author: Elaine Timbuleng, Writer and Teacher at MathWizard, Inc.

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