Kenny Ewbank is one of the newest editions to our math department, and recently moved from San Jose, Calif. As a graduate of Georgetown University for his undergraduate, and Stanford University for his graduate, he is a well skilled math teacher, ready to teach the next generations of students.
Q: What made you want to be a math teacher?
A: “Some of the reasons I became a math teacher, I guess were because I have always been interested in math. I studied economics in college, although I started my teaching career teaching every subject. Math is sort of what my background academically is in, so that’s what I’ve been drawn towards. And I really always had a tough time with math as a student and I think that’s why I enjoy teaching other students. I really like to explain where things come from rather than just tell them formulas. Understanding the big picture concepts of math makes it more interesting to me and hopefully more interesting to students.”
Q: What made you want to begin teaching here in West Linn?
A: “When I came for an interview I was really impressed by the other teachers that I met in the math department and everybody was really welcoming. I also have a lot of fun with the students; they seem motivated and willing to have a good time. Since I started working here, I’ve heard from a lot of people in the area that this school has a great reputation and I can see why. I’m really happy to be here.”
Q: What is your favorite thing about teaching?
A: “I think my favorite thing about teaching is just the fact that every day is completely different. You never know when you walk through the door what the mood of the students or the classes are going to be. There’s always new challenges, so I like the fact that everyday I’m going to be involved with a lot of people. I love working with people and being around people, and it’s exciting to have the opportunity to make an impact on someone’s lives in one way or another, whether it’s through, hopefully, learning math or outside of the classroom as a positive influence.”
Q: What do you think is the most important thing to do to help your students succeed?
A: “I try really hard to make myself seem accessible and available and hopefully have a classroom culture where students feel good talking to one another, like finding a couple people they can work with so that they feel comfortable. You’re never gonna really get your questions answered if you don’t feel comfortable to ask a question. There’s lots of things that are important in teaching, but I’d say that setting up a classroom environment that feels safe and supportive is probably number one.”
Q: What do you outside of school?
A: “I love spending time with my family. I have two little girls: Betty is three, and Belle is ten months old, so you know, a lot of playing in the park and going down slides and a lot of stuff outdoors like picnics. I have a dog too, so I love playing with my dog. Outside of family time, I’m really into music. I really like discovering music and talking about music with people. I also like going to see music, like live music and shows, and I have a guitar, but I’m not really good.”
Q: What is the coolest thing you’ve ever done?
A: “I lived for a year in the Dominican Republic and just being in the Caribbean islands with like beautiful beaches and being among a really friendly and open and welcoming group of people was really cool for me. I got to see what it was like to live in a different culture and speak a language different from my native language. It was really awesome and really challenging but super fun and I’m really glad I did it.”