ROSEVILLE, CA - He didn't start out wanting to be a teacher but John McClung feels right at home at the Roseville Academy of Math, Science and Engineering, a Horizon Charter School.
"It's funny because I didn't want to be a teacher because my dad was a teacher," McClung explained.
He says tutoring other students in college changed his mind. "I found when somebody gets what you're trying to teach there's definitely an internal reward," he said.
Over the last 15 years, McClung has taught at the elementary, middle and high school levels. He landed in math after teaching science, physical education and science.
He believes constantly asking students to give him the answers helps them learn difficult math concepts. "I've mapped everything out so that it's common sense rather than this abstract thing," McClungsaid.
He spends hour during lunch and after school tutoring students who need extra help. "That one-on-one really works," he said. "Almost every time it's a foundational piece that's missing -- something that for some reason they didn't get in the past."
Sage Jackson, a 17-year-old junior, spends extra time with his teacher. "I just didn't get it because the book had confusing information in it," Jackson said. "I guess I'm more of a visual learner and having him explain it to me really helped."
McClung chairs the math departments and mentors teachers at the academy. Administrators said his work has resulted in a 100 percent boost in the school's math scores.
McClung said, "I can't stand to see a student who can't get it. I'll do whatever it takes to make sure they can."
By Karen Massie, firstname.lastname@example.org