Bob Britnall making math fun
Editor’s Note: Staff of the Month is a monthly feature which highlights a staff member of a Baldwin junior and senior high school selected by Principal Calvin Patillo.
BALDWIN — Students at Baldwin High School who attend Bob Britnall’s math class know fun and learning can go hand-in-hand.
In his third year at Baldwin High School, Britnall keeps his teaching methods lively.
“I love teaching at small schools because you get to know kids and have personal relationships,” he said. “Kids have a very low failure rate in my class. They may not like math, but they like me. I have them participate in games and activities to push math.
There is Matho, which is a game similar to Bingo.
“I put as many games in the curriculum as possible,” Britnall said.
There also is a weekly homework drawing for students who complete as much classwork and homework as they can through the week. They get their name drawn for a prize each Friday.
“The prizes are just simple stuff, like a fruit snack. At the end of class, we also have a breath mint challenge. Kids get all competitive with answers for a breath mint,” he said.
Britnall said some students have higher abilities in mathematics than others, but since the course is required, he tries to make it fun and attainable for all students.
Britnall graduated from Central Michigan University intending to major in engineering, but he switched to an English major to qualify for a certain scholarship and he fell into more teaching programs.
“Even the most interesting machine is just a machine, but each person is a miracle,” he said. “I enjoy working with people much more than mechanics or engineering.”
Before teaching in Baldwin, Britnall taught at Journey in Scottville, an alternative school.
“I got to do a lot of hands-on activities working with at-risk youth,” he said.
In his spare time, Britnall enjoys sailing.
“I fixed up an old sailboat from the ‘70s. When I can get away in the summer, I go sailing on Grand Traverse Bay,” he said.