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Niles West News

The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

The Dedicated Math Teacher: Colleen Gogerty

Andrea Espino
Ms. Colleen Gogerty giving her speech after being announced inspirational teacher.

Niles West Math teacher Colleen Gogerty has impacted multiple students in the past 24 years she has been teaching. From teaching almost every single math class offered at West, she has mastered all the skills to teach students math in the most efficient way. Through creating an engaging and interactive class atmosphere, students truly enjoy math with Gogerty.

Gogerty graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a major in secondary math education. She further went on to receive a masters degree along with completing various coursework relating to math and education. Gogerty always knew she wanted to be a math teacher from a young age since she felt like she was good at math and could teach it.

“In high school, I did the child developmental classes and that helped me to figure out that I really enjoy teaching older students. At that time, I was also heavily involved in track and field and I wanted to be able to coach -which I did for like nine years. I was always pretty good at math and I liked how there was always a definite answer when I was in high school. That definitely changed as I went on to college,” Gogerty said.

While Gogerty knew she was good at math, she also struggled with harder-level math classes as she went on to college. This experience helped her realize that math isn’t always as simple as it may seem.

“It was in college when math really solidified for me. I took a few classes that were so challenging and it really messed with me. Just because something was easy at first, now I need to really work for it and it helped me also have this different view that this is how some of my students might feel. Some of my students might not just get it easily, so how do I help people really push and preserve and get them to think about things differently? Even though there is that one right answer, there are so many ways to arrive at that answer,” Gogerty said.

Through her years teaching at West, Gogerty has taught many different math classes at different levels. She found pre-calculus to be the most enjoyable to teach.

“My favorite class to teach is pre-calculus. I love how all the algebra and geometry come together in that class and personally, I think that it’s the first course where you can start seeing why you learned other topics as they come together,” Gogerty said.

Many students appreciate how Gogerty is always willing to help them out and make their learning experience easier.

“Having Mrs. Gogerty as my teacher is an absolute pleasure. She makes learning so much more interactive, fun, and interesting. She’s always willing to answer difficult questions from us students and dedicates her time before and after school by doing so,” senior Odisho Lazar said.

Students love the energy Gogerty brings in her class and look forward to her class as well.

“Having Mrs. Gogerty as my teacher has been very fun. She’s a great teacher! Although calculus isn’t always the most fun subject, I enjoy coming to her class every day. She has so much energy, which always creates a great experience in class, her class is always one of the highlights of my day,” senior Sumaiya Noman said.

While math can be a challenging subject for many students, they are grateful that Gogerty creates a positive environment in her classes.

“It has been great having her as a teacher. I love that she is flexible and willing to always help. Math was never my strong suit but she teaches each concept step by step and checks for understanding each day. She has had a great impact because her positive and happy energy fills the room each day,” junior Mariya Patel said.

Gogerty pushes her students to become successful mathematicians with her friendliness and positivity.

“What I enjoy the most about her class is the atmosphere she creates. Mrs. Gogerty’s friendliness has impacted us students in such a positive way that it sets a relaxing and enjoyable tone to our learning environment! Mrs. Gogerty allows us to thrive and make mistakes when necessary. She has a remarkable ability to make us feel at ease during class and still find ways for us to become the most successful mathematicians we can be,” Lazar said

Gogerty truly enjoys teaching students at Niles West along with having very supportive colleagues.

“Overall it’s been great teaching at Niles West there has been so much support for me to grow as a teacher, to try new things, try different ways of teaching and try new curriculums. My colleagues have been really wonderful over the years in really pushing me with questions like ‘why would you teach it that way’ which would push me to defend it saying ‘this is the best way to do it’ or to say ‘that’s not so good’ but I always felt very supported in both situations,” Gogerty said.

Niles West is grateful to have dedicated and passionate teachers like Mrs. Gogerty!

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  • A

    Aaqib SyedMar 20, 2024 at 10:33 PM

    Very well written Syeda! Keep up the good work!

  • O

    OdishoMar 19, 2024 at 3:22 PM

    Great story, Syeda!