How They Got Here

EvCC Teachers on What Brought Them to Teaching

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Abby Tutor

Mike Story, a math instructor at EvCC says that once you get past the tedious types of math problems, “you’ll feel like you’re getting sort of a window into how the universe works.”

You only see them for an hour a day in the classroom, but there is so much more to your teacher than what you learn in that time.

I wanted, maybe, to be a professor at some fantastic research university and make lots of discoveries in math”

— Story

If you’re a student, you might be so caught up with the assigned homework and studying that you have no idea who your teacher actually is.

EvCC offers about 115 different programs. The reason a nutrition teacher decided to teach is probably very different from the reason a math teacher decided to teach; the motivation largely comes from the teacher’s background and what they have been through in their life.

Laura Wild, a nutrition instructor at EvCC. Wild has had a passion for spreading the word about the importance of eating a well balanced diet for the majority of her life.
Michael Rhodes
Laura Wild, a nutrition instructor at EvCC. Wild has had a passion for spreading the word about the importance of eating a well balanced diet for the majority of her life.

Laura Wild

Laura Wild is a nutrition instructor here at EvCC, but she’s also a gardener, hiker, biker and loves cooking. “I love anything outdoors” Wild says. She loves gardening because she is passionate about the importance of having a healthy diet.

“One of the beauties of gardening is that you get to grow things that you can’t find in the grocery store” she says.

In the 1980s, Wild worked on the Navajo reservation. She taught there about healthy living with the help of translators and she “discovered that it was really exciting to impact people’s health with education”.

Now she loves teaching because “you get people that have their whole life ahead of themselves and what they learn can have a huge impact on their health.”

When Wild was younger, she said that her “dream job would have been to go overseas and work with people in different cultures.” Since Wild works here at EvCC where there is a diverse population, she says “I don’t think I’m too far off the mark… I think I kind of got my dream job”.

Mike Story

Mike Story has been a math instructor at EvCC for almost four years and he has taught nearly all of the math classes offered here. Before Story came to EvCC, he taught at other community colleges for about 10 years.

As far as his life outside of teaching, some of his hobbies include playing board games, having a fantasy baseball team and he says “I, you know, binge on Netflix like everyone else does sometimes.”

Story has always loved math. He says, “I wanted, maybe, to be a professor at some fantastic research university and make lots of discoveries in math.”

Then, he got some experience as a teacher’s assistant and he taught classes in graduate school. Story says he realized, “I like teaching a lot better than researching math”.

Story’s motivation for teaching comes from his deep interest in math. “My favorite thing about the job is just talking about math; I actually enjoy being up in the front of the class and being like, yo, this is how we solve linear equations”.

Even if someone is doing what they love for their work, there is probably going to be parts of it that they don’t like.

Mike Story doesn’t like giving his students tests, he says, “Every day when I have to give a test, I’m in a bad mood, and I’m like ‘Oh man, some people are going to do really badly.’ ” Story says he hates the feeling that some people are going to be really upset because of the test.

It is uncommon for math to be a subject that someone calls their favorite. “I don’t expect my students to sort of share my passion for (math) and they almost always don’t, and that’s fine.”

Story loves math because he thinks of it as a fun puzzle to solve, he says “There’s a kind of beauty to mathematics in the way that all of the pieces fit together.”