Hikmet Erdogan, a math teacher at Coral Academy of Science in Nevada was recently named Clark County’s educator of the month. The 42-year old instructor who is known for being loud and passionate in the classroom was honored during the month of April for his outstanding teaching abilities. Together with Public Education Foundation and Clark County School Board members, Teach for America selects an educator each month to spotlight.
Erdogan was selected based on nominations submitted through the Las Vegas Review-Journal, a partial sponsor of the Academy’s science program.
Students in Erdogan’s classes are quick to support his nomination. Fourteen-year old Noel Tran spoke of hating math before he had Erdogan as a teacher. He said his parents signed him up for the class without telling him even though he hadn’t passed the entrance exam. Erdogan let him in despite failing the exam and Tran says his knowledge of math has grown by leaps and bounds since then.
Erdogan came to Coral Academy from Turkey six years ago. Initially he took a traditional approach to teaching math but he quickly established his own unique approach for preparing students for math competitions at renowned universities like Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford University.
He admits to being a competitive person and feels that his students enjoy being challenged, which is why he continues to raise the bar in the classroom.
Erdogan’s original career goal was to become a researcher, but after obtaining a teaching position he fell in love with it. Now – he is dedicated to teaching future researchers. He loves teaching the students and seeing the transformative moment when they understand a new math concept.
Students in his classes estimate that they complete more than 10,000 math problems in a year and complete 1,000 hours of training under Erdogan’s guidance.
High School senior Arbab Khalid describes math as being beautiful and says that he has grown to feel this way because of Erdogan.