New Math Teacher Kelsey Pressler Really Wants to Help Students Learn
by Susanna Chen
Surrounded by a warm presence defined by the bright smile which stretches across both sides of her face, Kelsey Pressler, a newcomer to Walkersville, brings with her a drive to share her passion of math with students.
After graduating from Mount St. Mary’s with a degree in mathematics, Pressler was drawn to Walkersville for the quaint community. She dreamt of becoming a teacher early on, citing her love of working with students. “I’ve always wanted to be a teacher from the beginning since I was little,” says Pressler, “I love working with kids and trying to help them succeed.”
The difficulty of math is almost universally agreed upon. Understanding abstract concepts involving the manipulation of numbers requires a certain mindset. Pressler is all too familiar with the frustration experienced by students, also struggling with math while she was in high school.
However, these difficulties did not dampen her love for the subject. Rather, it urged her to put in more effort to learn, motivating her to help others in similar situations. “I kind of wanted to help kids see that it takes practice, but they can really succeed with it,” she states, “I try to connect with them and show them they can actually have the confidence to do it.”
Math does not come as second nature for many students and it is common for feelings of discomfort or insecurity to emerge when approaching equations which may seem like a tangle of numbers, letters, and symbols assembled together in a senseless fashion. This leaves a sour sense of discouragement, leading many to buckle under frustration. Pressler is in tune with this unease and works to guide students by “trying to get them to first feel comfortable in the classroom and not to have anxiety towards math…telling them they all know something, no one knows nothing.”
Regardless of skill or talent, Pressler is convinced that every student is able to succeed with hard work, citing herself as evidence. “I hope me as a role model and telling them about myself and how hardwork will pay off that will help engage them and get them more motivated to keep working at it,” she states.
And, in the end, “[I] just really wants to help kids.”