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Michele Baun This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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It was the first day of sixth grade. I kept hearing whispered tales about the infamous Math 7 and Algebra teacher – stories of late nights and insane amounts of work.

A year later, it was my time to meet the woman who had generated all the awe and fear. It was Baun Time. But after the first week of conditioning for the strenuous work ahead, my class was used to Ms. Baun. Clearly, all the rumors were just tales conjured up to scare sixth graders.

Ms. Baun is a hard teacher, no doubt, and her class requires a lot of work. But all that work paid off because it helped me set a good foundation and work ethic. By drilling us day after day, Ms. Baun got concepts through to us, reinforcing everything she taught. By making us show all our work, we could look through our process and see what we did wrong or say, “Hey, I can do it!” Now, I can't break the habit of showing my process.

Ms. Baun isn't just a teacher. She is a master painter, a grand puzzle maker, and a watch wizard. Ms. Baun can start class off on any random whim, twirling about in all sorts of directions, but when the 45-minute period comes to an end, all the parts suddenly connect, it all makes sense, and we understand the lesson. The way she teaches, there is no need to memorize long equations since we can derive them ourselves.

From her uncanny ability to draw freehand circles perfectly to her favorite quote – “Bah humbug” – Ms. Baun charmed our class. No process shown? Bah humbug. No process needed? Bah humbug. The problem is unsolvable? You guessed it – Bah humbug. Without knowing it, Ms. Baun had picked a perfect quote. Scrooge tried to make everyone think he was cruel, but truly he was a big softie, just like Ms. Baun.

Everybody thought that The Baun was a slave driver intent on punishing us with work. Or at least that's how the story went. Ask any former student though, and most likely he'll burst out laughing. You might get the wrong impression when the class falls silent as she enters. But once you get to know Ms. Baun, you understand that the silence is not out of fear, but respect. Ms. Baun is a big mushy marshmallow, but a burnt one with a crusty covering to protect the inside. And burnt marshmallows? Mmmm, my favorite.

Now, one year after leaving Algebra and Ms. Baun, I have realized how much I have taken good teachers for granted. Now in geometry, I'm lazing away since Ms. Baun already taught me everything. I have never had and probably never will have such a good teacher. By showing us how everything worked, she helped her students truly master math. And by mastering math, we can master the world.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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This article has 7 comments. Post your own!

anonymous said...
Oct. 20, 2011 at 6:46 pm:
i have her and i dont get vm/eq
 
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123SJELF said...
Oct. 16, 2011 at 5:14 pm:
I'm currently in her class....she has a good sense of humor and is able to keep us on our toes without boring us. I really like her class. But one piece of advice, don't EVER not do her homework. You do not want to make The Baun angry....TRUST ME
 
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dckx said...
Jun. 23, 2010 at 12:53 pm:
I had Ms. Baun last year and really liked he class, though my period never actually got any work done. She made us stay during lunch and didn't let us eat...
 
animalhugger98 replied...
Oct. 29, 2010 at 8:23 pm :

I currently take Ms. Baun's class and she is awesome! She actually teahces me and I learn from it and she has a great sense of humor. Even though math isn't my highest grade, math is one of my favorite classes.

P.S.-(Read this Ms.Baun! lol)

 
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StalkerChld said...
Feb. 1, 2010 at 10:26 am:
Cool i really enjoyed reading this keep writing
 
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i am not idahoe said...
Dec. 3, 2009 at 4:59 pm:
HEY currently i am in Dr. Baun's class and she has a cup that says Bah Humba from the ally theater. Also she stll teaches a bit of algebra and always requires process!!
It is vm/eq process and other certain types of process. My name is not ida hoe but i just did that to comment!
 
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EdytD said...
Sept. 7, 2009 at 9:31 am:
Sounds like an awesome math teacher! As for your writing style, you have great, strong imagery and comparisons that make your piece stand out from the many about teachers. I particularly liked your last sentence, and I think that it is true - to some extent, with the confidence that mastering schoolwork gives people, they can indeed go on and conquer anything.
Great job!
 
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