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Mr. Shuler Educating with Heart


Mr. Zach Shuler teaches Math in grades 8–12, Pre Algebra, Algebra 2, Trigonometry, and Statistics at Sacred Heart. Zach builds community by grouping his students in teams of three or four girls and rotates them every month. Students are then able to work together on problem solving and homework assignments. Zach is well-known for his encouraging shout-outs to students who come up with different ways to solve problems. Emphasizing each student's uniqueness, girls do a Venn Diagram activity that describes the similarities and differences of each person. 

Mr. Shuler employs an arsenal of tools in his classroom to help make Math fun for students. His Algebra 2 classes recently did a parabola selfie on desmos (desmos is an advanced graphing calculator implemented as a web application and a mobile application written in JavaScript) in which they took a picture of a real-life parabola and found out the equation of the graph. While his favorite digital tool at the moment is Pinterest, he also enjoys Khan Academy and of course Kahoot! for some competitive review games.

"My philosophy as a math educator is to build confidence in each student and allow them to make mistakes and take risks. We actually applaud wrong answers because I want all my students to feel comfortable trying out their way to solve a problem. I believe getting the wrong answer only helps the student grow and understand where her mistake was in the problem."

Students are able to develop critical thinking skills by working together on problem-solving. Zach supplements all his lessons with the graphing calculator, but emphasizes the importance of developing the skills manually first. Students collaborate problem-solving in teams of three and then share their work with one another. A team leader then shows the class how their team solved the problem on the board.

"The students at SHA are very inspirational to me," Zach says. "They are hard workers who strive to be the best students. It encourages me to be the very best educator for them each and every day."

When not in the classroom, Mr. Shuler is busy coaching SHA's Upper School Varsity Basketball team. His SHoops teams are perennial District 1 AA champions, winning the title this season for the fifth straight year. read more >

ONE word you would use to describe SHA: Invigorating

Red or White team: White Team ("But I have full respect for the Red team too!)

Pictured below is one of Mr. Shuler's bulletin boards in his classroom. (Can you tell he is the basketball coach too?)