Tom Beatty

Job Title:

Math Teacher




Phone: (510) 577-9100



Started at O'Dowd:



BA, Math, UC Berkeley MSc, Financial Economics, University of London Secondary Teaching Credential, Math, SFSU

Originally from:


Why I Teach:

I spent 17 years in the corporate world doing actuarial work. I wanted a new profession that felt more meaningful, and where no two days were the same. Teaching scores on both counts.

Most powerful teaching technique:

I have only one: humor. I abuse it mercilessly.

Why are the subjects you teach important?:

Mathematics seems to describe the world pretty well, or at least when we have a mathematical description of something, we feel like we understand it. Much of nature seems to speak in mathematical terms. Math is an essential language. Everyone needs to speak it.

Favorite quotes:

"As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality..? Einstein "Life is full of misery, loneliness, and suffering - and it's all over much too quickly." Woody Allen "Armstrong wants that wheel of Basso; Armstrong needs that wheel of Basso." Commentator Phil Liggett describing Lance Armstrong getting dropped on the Plateau de Bonascre in the 2003 Tour De France

Favorite trivia:

The name of my 8th grade math teacher was Mrs. Metric. However, after having her as a teacher, I was not a fan of the metric system.

Recommended visual media:

Everyone should watch the Zapruder film and decide for themselves.

Recommended reads:

Gatsby Updike's Rabbit series Richard Ford's short stories Anything by Don DeLillo Poets I like: T.S. Eliot, Pablo Neruda, May Sarton, Lisel Mueller.

Hobbies or outside interests:

Family time, cycling, a quiet read.