Inspiring the next generation

Karen Meyer explains how a college professor inspired her to become a math teacher.

Luke Krchak, Reporter

Inspiration is all it takes to turn a nobody into a somebody. For math teacher Karen Meyer, that inspiration came from her first-year math professor in college.

“In high school, none of my teachers really inspired me to be someone,” Meyer said.

As a high school student at Cedar Rapids Washington  back in 1981, she did not have a specific career in mind, and her teachers weren’t very memorable leading to her having lower grades, but when she got to college she was inspired to become a teacher.

“I realized that not every teacher would be inspiring,” said Meyer.

It was in her first year of college at the University of Iowa that she had the first teacher to inspire her to be something. Also, it was the first time she enjoyed learning something. She chose to teach math because she wanted to carry on that enjoyment to other people.

She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Math Education, a Masters of Science in History Education, and a Masters of Arts in Educational Administration, so she could teach math or history or even become an administrator, but since she started teaching in 1995 she has only taught math.

“In my first year of college my math professor really inspired me, so I wanted to do the same thing,” Meyer said.

For the most part, she has taught at West, but there were times that she took breaks to do different jobs. All the jobs she took though had something to do with teaching.

“When I was a new teacher I thought that I would affect everybody, but I realized that I only had to influence a few,” said Meyer.

In her 16 years at West, she began to realize that not every student would be as captivated by math as she was, but she knew that it was the few students that counted.