Editor’s Note: This is the second in a series of profiles on new, full-time faculty members.
With 20 years of experience working as a middle and high school math teacher, Jack Westbrook has more than prepared himself for life at Keuka.
Westbrook received his bachelor’s degree in mathematics and master’s degree in mathematics education from SUNY Geneseo. His first career move was as a seventh and 11th grade math teacher at Harpursville (N.Y.) Central School. After a year, he moved on to Hilton (N.Y.) Central School, where he taught all levels of math from non-Regents, ninth grade to Pre-Calculus.
Westbrook says that teaching high school math and college math are alike.
“I have actually found teaching here to be more similar to teaching high school than I thought it would be,” he said. I guess teaching is teaching.”
As for the differences, Westbrook says discipline issues are completely different, and the amount of time and effort the students and professors put in are complete polar opposites.
Westbrook chose Keuka for the “smallness” and for the chance to do something new. He also liked how “Keuka gives everyone a personal touch” and he would like to bring this into his classes.
With many years of teaching expereince, Westbrook hopes to bring a different perspective to his classes that include Secondary Math Methods, College Algebra, Math for Elementary Education, and Developmental Math. This new perspective comes from Westbrook’s experience with students who struggle with math, and he hopes to be able to help guide them through.
“I also think the wisdom from experience will help me give strong advice and strategies to the students in my Secondary Methods class,” he said.
Even though he is new to Keuka, Westbrook knows how vital Field Period is to the College and he is going to encourage his students to “use Field Periods to get more experience in schools, whether it be volunteering, or just helping out in the classroom.”
Westbrook already wants to do more than his fair share, and he’s eager to dig his hands into the main work of a Keuka College faculty member.
“I’m looking forward to advising students in the future.”