New Teacher Stephenson Brings Different Background to Math

Monserat Olivera, Staff Writer

This year, Chamblee High School welcomed many new teachers, including Geoffrey Stephenson. Stephenson teaches math classes such as Advanced Algebra and Advanced Math Decision Making. While he has only been in the teaching profession for four years, teaching has been one of his passions for many years. 

“Whether I was in high school or college, I helped other students with what they were learning. Then when I was in corporate America, I trained a lot of other employees. So there’s always been an interest in teaching,” said Stephenson.  

During his college years, he worked for his undergraduate degrees at Penn State University and Wilkes University. 

“I got my undergraduate degree, I went to Penn State University, and Wilkes University. And I got a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics, Computer Science, and Statistics. And then I got my master’s degree from Georgia State, MBA with a concentration in finance,” said Stephenson. 

As an avid mathematics learner, he advises others studying mathematics.

“Practice. It’s good if kids can be aware that sometimes you can be good at math as far as the theoretical side of it, or on the applied side of it. The difference is usually the applied side is doing a lot of problems while solving the problems theoretically, you might be doing proofs, or understanding the logic of the process of the type of math that you’re working with. So my advice is don’t give up on it just because a part of it is hard. [Definitely] practice, practice, practice,” said Stephenson. 

Between college and his teaching career, Stephenson had a career in corporate America for twenty-five years. During that time, his job would include computer programming, project management, and consulting. His projects would often be long-term, spreading five or six months. With the experience he has with varieties of people, he knows how to handle difficult or less than ideal situations.

“A group of people will look at one occupation and say oh, that must be great to do. That’s why people say the grass is always greener on the other side. There are always challenges everywhere. You just have your good and your bad experiences. You can work around people that are wonderful, positive, uplifting influences. There’ll be times that you might work around some people that might be what you might call a drag,” said Stephenson. 

His experience with people has impacted his teaching style. Thus, he tries to be open-minded while dealing with the different types of students in the classroom. 

“You’ve always got a different makeup of students, you’ve got different dynamics, there are always different challenges. My teaching style is to be respectful. I want to be clear on the material that I’m talking about. I want to be respectful to the students because I want them to feel respected. I want them to be respectful towards me. I want to make sure that people are not circumventing those rules. I don’t know if I could put myself in a teaching style, just so much as truly I just need to be dynamic based on the situation, whether it be the subject matter or the dynamics of what’s happening in the class or with individual students,” said Stephenson. 

Above all, Stephenson is an exciting new addition to the staff at Chamblee High School. He is becoming comfortable in his new environment as the weeks go on.

“Students have made me laugh many, many times or smile. The teachers have been very supportive. The administration is also very, very supportive,” said Stephenson. “I’m looking forward to a bright and exciting future here at Chamblee High School, and I hope I can continue to make a positive impact on students.”