Horace Buddoo: The richest man in Pembroke Pines
“Seriously, Mr. Buddoo, said one of my Algebra 2 students, “when are we ever going to need to know the square root of negative one?”
“Aha! A teachable moment for me!
It is not just an Algebra 2 class, dear student, it is brain exercise and preparation for the big picture. So the simple answer to when will you ever need this:
Your entire life.
You will always need to make decisions and higher math teaches you perseverance and how make logical conclusions.
I am passionate about teaching thinking.
Algebra 2, calculus and statistics mirror real life. They are about more than correct answers.
Since 2009 I have been teaching at West Broward High School 500 NW 209 Avenue in Pembroke Pines.
My classes can be intimidating and some kids come to them already thinking they are not going to do well. If they keep thinking like that, they will not feel empowered and their failing thoughts will get reinforced.
Part of my job is to change that.
My students are people with different needs and backgrounds and many of their issues have nothing to do with me or school. They may never remember one thing about calculus but they will remember how they felt in my classroom. They will remember helping and being helped and feeling success.
We do a lot of success celebrating. Because they work as a team, they learn to accept each other. I see unlikely friendships form all the time.
Mistakes? Aha! Mistakes are more opportunities for teachable moments!
I believe in failure. In the process students learn what is it to be invested in each other, how to tolerate each other and find joy in the success of each other.
Yes, I am unconventional. We start the class with a moment of mindfulness meditation to set the calm tone for the 90 minute class. The calmness helps me with classroom management.
I have emulated teachers of my own by incorporating some of their teaching style into mine and getting the students to like being in my class. Even simple things like having dry erase desktops are fun for them because they can problem solve with colored markers. It gets them to want to learn.
A lot of what I do as a teacher is not part of my job description but in those extra hours i have learned the secret to teaching. At the beginning, I started by teaching a subject that i am passionate about, but soon the students start teaching me. I have learned not to take things for granted. I can pinpoint what a student may need. I have learned from them how to become a better teacher.
The wealth I have accumulated does not include a lot of cash but teaching has made me a very rich man.”