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December 4, 2013

Fresh ECU graduate plunges headfirst into teaching

Ada — Teaching has been an eye-opening, yet gratifying experience for Chris Eckler in his young career.

Just months after obtaining his bachelor’s degree in mathematics with a teacher certification from East Central University in May, Eckler has plunged headfirst into what he anticipates as a life-long profession and love.

“It’s definitely eye-opening,” said Eckler, who is less than three months into teaching seventh grade general math and seventh grade honors math at Ada Junior High School. “It’s keeping me busy, but it’s still something I want to do for years to come.”

Eckler has certainly faced challenges in his young career like budgeting time and the extra things in which most people might not think about.

“I think the biggest challenges are staying caught up and grading,” Eckler said. “I think one thing that caught me off guard was being prepared for parent-teacher conferences.”

Eckler, a Robert Noyce Teaching Scholarship winner at ECU in 2011, was the presenter at ECU’s Fall 2013 Noyce Colloquium on Wednesday at the Regents Room of the Memorial Student Union. The topic of his discussion was “Five Things Every Teacher Needs to Know about Teaching Junior High Mathematics.”

Eckler’s day is filled with teaching two honors’ math classes and four general math classes, two of which he has another teacher assisting.

“Those two classes are to help kids who need a little push,” said Eckler. “With the honor kids I have to be careful that they don’t outsmart me.”

Eckler’s ECU educational experience has prepared him, particularly in regards to technology and methods.

“I think the (ECU) Education Department did a great job of showing technology that can be used with the classes,” Eckler said. “In my methods class, I learned how to set up a substitute teacher’s plan book and a lot about lesson planning.”

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