If Math Were More Like English PSAA Teacher Challenged to Make Math Fun

July 01, 2007 | Kathy Fridlund

For Colleen Brundula Radke, the math and physics teacher at Puget Sound Adventist Academy (PSAA), in Kirkland, Wash., the constraints of formulas pose a challenge on how to teach the field of mathematics as something other than memorized rules.

"I wish math were more like English where creative ideas are spawned from everything living and dead," Radke said. She constantly faces the challenge of keeping students interested in a subject she knows many of them either dislike or fear.

This desire pushes her to introduce imaginative projects, like the heavenly house design assignment where geometry students drew to scale the New Jerusalem measurements from the book of Revelation and compared the city's size to familiar objects.

A perpetual believer in motivating students, Radke often takes time out from algebraic formulas to exhort them on college preparedness, moral obligations, poor behavior or any issue that needs immediate attention.

Radke's other field of expertise is music. She teaches choir at PSAA and enjoys the special challenge of helping students with little or no musical background to appreciate the beauty and joy of music. Whether teaching math or choir, she believes all things point to God through his carefully designed universe and his praise.

Teachers like Radke are living examples of how PSAA and Adventist Christian education seek to connect students with their Creator, helping them know him better as Lord, Savior and friend.