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mark van eijk portrait


I hear you?re enrolled in a paramedic program! Can you tell me a little about that?
I am taking a “Primary Care Paramedic” program to renew my license as paramedic (which is necessary since I took a 6 year hiatus from the field to teach). I’m interested in paramedicine for many of the same reasons that I’m interested in math; I like puzzles, improvisation, and thinking on my feet. There’s something really appealing to me about working in a less controlled environment, whether it’s in people?s homes or on the street, and coming up with quick solutions to problems with often limited resources. I

How does teaching connect to your paramedic goals?
I imagine teaching will always be a big part of my life (at least I hope it will be). In the short term I plan to connect the paramedical side of my life with teaching by teaching first aid and first responder courses through Brainboost and other organisations. In the long run I’m planning to go back to school to train as an “Advanced Care Paramedic” which would be another 2 year program. I’m also very interested in community health education; I really believe that prevention and education are the best medicines and look forward to taking an active role in these fields.

Why do you like teaching Pre-Calculus 12?
I like elegant ideas, and PC12 is full of them. The ideas in PC12 “fit together” in a way that is very satisfying to understand and explore. I love guiding students through the process of making sense of these ideas and approaching them from new and interesting angles. While PC12 is a challenging course, the challenge doesn’t come from memorizing lots of facts or knowing exactly what you’re supposed to say and when; it comes from understanding how the pieces of different mathematical ideas fit together at a very fundamental level and exploring where those ideas take us, which I find very exciting!

Do you have a favourite unit or section of Pre-Calculus 12?
Not a particular topic, but instead the strong narrative of the course. Some courses feel like a grab-bag of different topics, but in PC12 all the units are related and flow well from one to the next. I like that at the beginning of the course students learn about a set of mathematical tools (functional operations) and then with each new unit learn how those tools can be used in new situations.

Why are you excited about Saturday Pre-Calculus this year?
I always look forward to seeing how different students interact with the material and coming up with new ideas on how to engage, challenge, and guide them through it. I really like the condensed, 4-hour class format since it really allows us to work with the “flow-y” nature of the course and move through the closely linked ideas in a logical way. I think it’s going to be great!

You can join Mark’s Pre-Calculus Saturday Math 12 course today!?