He was my AP Calculus AB and BC teacher. He was one of those rare teachers that I've had, that I can truly say loved teaching. He always came to class ready to teach, with a smile on his face. When I took AP Calculus AB, for the first time, I was struggling tremendously. That time frame in my life, I was really shy, had low self esteem, and so I was too shy and afraid to ask others for help in class or raise my hand with a question.
The first parent teacher conference, he expressed his concern to my mother. He told my mother, that on certain days of the week I am welcome to come in a few minutes early before class started (for he and other teachers did planning in his room) or stay back after school for help/tutoring on subject learned or homework problems. I was a little reluctant to do it at first (shy and timid side of me), but seeing that my grades were hindering and I did not want to fail, I eventually went. To my surprise, I was not the only student coming early/ or staying back. I made some friends. Gilbert P was really helpful encouraging, positive, and patient. He allowed and encouraged us to work together, help each other out, study together, even give him feedback on his teaching style to ensure we were grasping the subject matter. I really felt that he believed in me and his students. I used to never participate in any of my classes, but his class he eventually started to call on me (and other students) when he asked questions, for he believed in us and he knew we had the answer. It only took only a few class periods, and I (as well as the rest of the class) were participating, my self-confidence went up, I was asserting myself and believing in myself not only in that class but others. Before the AP exam we watched the movie Stand and Deliver, and he told his class, that he believed we were capable of passing the AP exam with 5's, we had what it took, and no matter what, he was proud of us.
That was nine years ago, I know Gilbert P is in his 80's now. After calculus AB, I took BC (same teacher), scored a five on the exam. When I finished high school and went on to college, I took Calculus 1,2,3,4 and got A’s, as well as A’s in just about every math course. I graduated from college with a 3.7 GPA, and today I am working with a job title of Electrical Engineer. I contributed a portion of my success to my hero who had faith in me, and sparked confidence, perseverance, and curiosity to push myself and to ask questions. He not only helped his students build a strong foundation in math/calculus subject but also we (his class) built character in respecting each other, teamwork, and believing in oneself that we can carry beyond the classroom, exam day, and to the rest of our lives.
Submitted by Anonymous
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