I still remember a comment made to me by an English teacher, Mr. Hook, when I was attending Mission High School. Mr. Hook said, “Leo, you have an innate ability to get people to do what you want, but they believe that they made the decision to act.” Incredibly, this occurred 49 years ago, but it is still vivid in my mind. When I look at my teaching and coaching career at McAllen High School and what I am currently doing with online tutoring, I believe that his assessment of me was true. As I study myself, I realize that the way I was able to get others to do what I wanted was because of my commitment to modeling. In general, I feel that my students and anyone else who has ever had contact with me saw an individual who let his actions speak for him. I have always shown enthusiasm for what I do. I have always shown that I am constantly seeking to improve. I have always treated those around me with respect. I have always been willing to take risks. I love helping people. I take pride in my work. I share my knowledge and experience with those around me. My love of teaching is infectious. I am constantly searching for ways to enhance the learning experience. I invite those around me to join me in an adventure of discovery. I make sure that they know how thrilled I am when I find a new way of teaching. Everything I have said about myself as it pertains to teaching is also a part of the way I am with my family, friends and everyone else with whom I associate. I feel that most people see me as an individual who has self-confidence, is assertive, knows what he wants to do, and is happy. I think that those who observe my behavior want to possess many of my attributes. Thus, they are susceptible to doing what I want because they see in me someone who takes pride in being a positive role model.
As I have said before, whether you are teaching in the classroom or living in the real world, teaching is most effective when you model what you expect from your students in the classroom or when teaching your children. I think that Mr. Hook’s assessment of me became a reality because of my decision to become a teacher when I was six years old. When I think back, I know that it shaped the person I became. I consider my ability to get others to do what I want (thinking it was their decision) as a God-given talent. I cherish the gift and I have always used it to help others. I can assure you that all of the materials on my website, www.rammaterials.com, were influenced by my love of teaching and my obsession with helping students, teachers, parents and anyone interested in being mesmerized by the magic of mathematics. I invite you to follow me on at Ram Materials on Facebook.