Thomas Jefferson Academy for Advanced Studies
Teacher of the Year
Mr Vu began his teaching career at Truman Middle School in 2001 as a Pre-Algebra and Algebra teacher. He continued his education journey in 2006 when he joined Fisher Middle/High School where he taught Algebra, Geometry, Algebra 2, PreCalculus, and AP Statistics. He also coached the Middle School Soccer Team as well as the Girls High School Soccer Team.
In 2017, Mr Vu became a member of the Thomas Jefferson High School Family where he continues to teach Algebra 2, College Algebra, College Trigonometry, College Statistics, and AP Statistics. In 2018, He began to coach both the Girls Soccer Team and the Girls Cross Country Teams. During his tenure at Thomas Jefferson, he has also prepped students for the ACT test with the average composite score increasing every year. Through his guidance, our students have thrived in the Dual Enrollment Math Courses offered on campus through SELU. In College Algebra, 85% of the students have received an A or B average for their final grade. Ninety percent of the students in Trigonometry and Statistics received an A average for their final grade.
What is the secret of his success?
“I interact with my students by breaking down concepts using language that is easier for them to understand. For example, instead of saying completing the square I call it the 'SpongeBob' method. I also use a different pronunciation of words to keep their attention on me. Using this language especially helps my virtual students to pay attention while learning from home. I also use a tablet that I can write on when teaching so my virtual learners and my students in class can see what I’m doing at the same time.
I always tell my students that their learning journey is about 'The Climb'. Telling my students this keeps them motivated and not to give up only because they failed one test. We learn so much more than math in my classroom; we learn about life and love and I try to be a good example of this.
I also try to encourage my students that play sports by asking them about the games. Even when they don’t do well I tell them how there is still time to get better and if the team does not improve this year they still have more years to build the program up.
I also offer my students extra help; for example, I allow my students to log into the meet early to get extra help and also tutor after school. I make a lively atmosphere in my classroom and check in with my students to see how they are mentally. I do not tolerate bullying under any circumstances in my classroom. I have had major success with testing in my class, because I help my students quickly get through the homework so we can have ample time to prepare for the test. I always tell my students to look to the future and encourage them to pursue their dreams and aspirations.“
Congratulations, Mr Vu!