By: Christopher Pope, Staff Reporter | Photo By: Scott M. Roberts, Photojournalist
“10 Minutes With…” is a feature in which a member of the CNM faculty shares professional insight on a local, national or international issue.
Part-time Math instructor Kevin Goodrich said he wanted to become an astronaut when he was growing up, but bad eyesight led him to a promising career teaching math.
He was about 8 years old when NASA first started launching people into space which really got him interested, he said.
He thought majoring in Engineering would be a good way to get started but found out that bad eyesight would hinder this dream, Goodrich said. Little did he know a work-study job at TVI would lead to a teaching career, he said.
“It was not until I got a job at TVI that I discovered I had the skill to teach,” said Goodrich.
His sudden passion for helping others learn quickly became a career goal, he said.
“I really liked showing people how to do math. It was nice to give people a boost, and see their rise in confidence as well,” he said.
During college he discovered he was not as good at high level math as he thought, said Goodrich. Since this was the case he switched his major from engineering to math. In his last semester before graduation he switched majors for the last time, to history, he said.
Shortly after the switch, he graduated from UNM with a history degree. While working at TVI as a teacher’s aide he mostly worked in math classes, he said.
He came to the conclusion that teaching math was what he should do for a career. He got his first job as an instructor almost immediately after graduation, he said.
“They were so short on instructors that year, that right out of the gate I started out with three classes,” said Goodrich.
Goodrich thinks math is important because the students take what they have learned and continue to use it throughout college, he said.
He was not sure he would have stuck with teaching as long as he has if he did not really love the job, said Goodrich. He wanted to impart what he had learned to students, said Goodrich.
“I wanted to become a teacher because I knew I could help people, which really made a difference to me,” said Goodrich.
One of the best things about teaching is running into former students who thank him, he said.
“I always say ‘well good for you,’ and then ask them how their math is going,” said Goodrich.
A lot of people may think teaching is just about teaching, said Goodrich. The majority of his 40-hour work week is spent doing paperwork and lesson plans, said Goodrich. There is more to teaching than just moving students through one class and onto the next, Goodrich said.
“It only takes one student saying ‘thank you’ to make my job worthwhile,” he said.