When I entered college it was with much trepidation. I did not know if it would be possible to get through the math courses. I knew that if I failed those, any prospects of becoming a teacher were shot.
Then I met Kevin Lavrack.
He was a professor at Edison Community College when I took his Developmental Algebra course during the spring semester, 2001. This was the most expensive college course I ever took–it was 5 credits (not toward the degree) and I was still considered out-of-state resident. But this course would change everything.
Kevin Lavrack made math look easy. I can still remember him at the board, flowing through math problems, saying just enough each time to get it, but never confusing the issue.
The thing is, I only had him for four classes. Sadly, he and his wife got in a bad car wreck and he became a quadriplegic. Another prof had to take over the class. By then I was set. He had worked magic on me. I sailed through the rest of my courses, and was even invited to take Honors Statistics. My math curse was gone.
Lavrack did return to teaching. I have read articles about him–how his students say he can teach math better with no hand and legs than profs who have full use. And I believe it. I know what he did for me.
Today I am charged with teaching my students how to plan an essay. I know many of them “don’t believe” in planning. My job is to make it look easy–like the most natural thing ever. I don’t know if I will work any magic, but at the very least I can have the right attitude. It’s the least I can do in honor of those who have done so for me.