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Meet new Unadilla Valley secondary math teacher Rian Nichols
New Unadilla Valley second school math teacher says students seem to always ask her the same math-related question: “when am I ever going to use this”? And for that, she has a few responses. Nichols comes to UV after earning her bachelor’s degree in math and education from SUNY Oneonta and teaching math at Edmeston.

We asked her some questions to get to know her better:

Q. Why did you want to become a math teacher?
A. I’ve always wanted to be a teacher. I had good teachers and liked school. I had two younger sisters who I helped and senior year of high school, I really loved math. No matter what, two plus two is four, it’s always concrete. There’s always one right answer but different ways to get there.

Q. What’s your teaching style like?
A. I try to relate to the students. It’s easier because I’m not much older than them. The biggest question I get asked by students is if they are ever going to use what we’re learning. For one of my graduate classes I had to make a bulletin board of all the places you can use math outside the classroom.

Q. What are two of them?
A. One is for video games. In order to make a video game, you need to know math. And cooking is second. Students usually hate fractions, but when they ask if they are going to use them, I ask them, “Have you ever made a cake?”

Q. What’s your classroom like?
A. There are usually students up at the board and lots of group work. I usually give them a lesson and the last half of the period they are working independently.

Q. Why did you want to come to UV?
A. I student taught here with Mrs. George a few years ago in 2012 and I loved it. When I came up to Oneonta, it was the first time I ever saw a K-12 school and I thought it’s good that everyone knows each other. It’s like a small little community.

Favorite subjects in school: Math and history
Favorite book: Harry Potter
Favorite movie: The Hunger Games
Favorite band: Maroon 5
Favorite food: apple pie