Patty Fisher is doing exactly what she wants to do at Greene County High School in Jefferson.
She knows because she did the exact thing — teaching algebra II, pre-calculus and advanced pre-calculus — to students who want to learn the subjects.
Fisher taught from 1993 – 1998, then quit teaching to stay home with her children for 11 years. Five years ago she came back, not only because she was ready to, but because she was going back to the very same subjects she taught before.
“I had opportunities to teach in different schools and at different levels, but I knew this is what I wanted to teach,” Fisher says. “Also, I wanted to be able to teach my own children, and by being here I can do that.”
She plans to stay at least another seven years until her son, Cale, is through high school. But, she adds, coming back to work after 11 years made her realize how much she loves to teach mathematics.
Fisher says the students she has in the upper-level classes are taking the classes because they are focused on going on to college.
“I like to see the kids who need math, and who make the connections as they are learning math,” she says.
She also very much enjoys mathematics.
“I like the logical process. If you understand the steps, you can do the math. I guess I like math for the math. In math, I understand why the next thing is going to happen,” she says.
Fisher says her love of math was encouraged by a coach she had all the way through high school.
“He made an impression on me, and once he saw that I was good at math, he asked me what I wanted to do, and suggested I give a math-related career,” she says.
Fisher attended Mount Mercy College in Cedar Rapids with a major in mathematics and a minor in secondary education.
“I mainly chose teaching because I thought I would be coaching as well, and I did that for the first eight years I taught,” she says.
Fisher no longer coaches because she doesn’t have the time between teaching and her family.