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Faculty Focus: Hayley Teich

By Julia Lytle
Published: November 2009

Many people may remember math teacher Hayley Teich’s performance in South’s talent show, Tertulia. Singing is only one of Teich’s many talents, as she also has a gift for teaching her students in a way that makes them strive to learn more.

Despite math’s reputation as a difficult subject that many people dislike, Teich makes her classes easy to follow and makes her enthusiasm for the subject contagious.

Teich grew up in Pearl River, New York, 15 miles northwest of New York City. As a child, Teich and her younger sister had many pets, including a goldfish, “Golden Oldie, that lived to be 10 years old.

Teich attended Pearl River High School, located in her hometown. For her college education, Teich attended Boston University, and she later received her graduate degree from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education.

“I’ve wanted to be a teacher since the second grade. In elementary school it was because I really loved drawing on the chalkboard, Teich said.

Teich’s interest in becoming a teacher grew throughout her higher education due to her love of learning and helping others, as well as her specified interest in math. “I had some really great teachers throughout the years who inspired me, and I aspire to be just like them, Teich said.

One memory from high school that Teich treasures is the time her junior math teacher asked her to tutor another student because he himself was not able to. “The fact that he had that much confidence in my abilities to teach was very motivating, she said.

Two teachers from Teich’s high school years had a very lasting effect on her. “They both encouraged me to be involved in the extracurricular activities in which they were involved, and so I got to see them both in and outside the classroom setting, Teich said.

Teich likes her students to be able to see her as both their teacher and a “real person.

“So many students tend to think of teachers as just teachers, not as musicians, or language enthusiasts, or anything else that makes them who they are, she said.

This year marks Teich’s fourth year teaching at South. She teaches students in all levels of math, ranging from Curriculum II through Honors.

Although her classes are difficult and she challenges her students, Teich’s goal is to make her students stronger for classes that they will take in the future.

“I always liked the way that my teachers didn’t ‘Ëœgive away’ answers and really made you come up with them on your own, Teich said. “I teach that way because that’s how they taught me and it was beneficial in the long run.

Teich has also made a large contribution to the volleyball program at South. As an assistant coach to the Junior Varsity Girls’ Volleyball team, Teich has been able to share her love for the sport, similarly to how she shares her love for singing and math with South, as well.

South is lucky to have teachers like Teich, who are willing and eager to share their many interests with the student body, and who strive to make students think for themselves and become better students, as that is what will allow them to succeed in the future.

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