STAFF & FACULTY DIRECTORY PROFILE

William Van Doren

Job Title:

Math Teacher

Department:

Mathematics

Email:

Phone: (510) 577-9100 ext. 

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Started at O'Dowd:

2014

Degrees: 

B.A - Oberlin College Master of Divinity - Harvard University

Originally from:

Washington, D.C. and Houston, TX

Why I Teach:

I teach because I love the art and the challenge of facilitating learning, and I feel called to work with teenagers. It is a very rewarding and dynamic job.

Most powerful teaching technique:

I find that a combination of two things is especially effective: a clear lecture style in which I model the problem solving process, with guided practice time in which I give students one-on-one attention.

Why are the subjects you teach important?:

Math allows us to measure, model, and predict so many things in our world, which makes it an extremely valuable skill. Even if a student is not going into a math-related career, the study of math builds fundamental skills that apply to life:to persevere in solving problems, be precise, use reason, and recognize the patterns and relationships that are all around us.

Favorite quotes:

"I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality" - Martin Luther King Jr.

Favorite trivia:

How many earths can fit in the sun? (A: About 1.3 million)

Recommended visual media:

The Shawshank Redemption, Back to the Future (childhood favorite)

Recommended reads:

Siddhartha (Hermann Hesse), Dune (Frank Herbert), Song of Solomon (Toni Morrison), The Poems of Hafiz

Hobbies or outside interests:

Creative Writing, Hip Hop, Hiking