cory mathes

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Sarah Hagan has a passion for math, and the pi-shaped pendant to prove it.

The 25-year-old teaches at Drumright High School in Drumright, Okla. The faded oil town is easy to miss. Fewer than 3,000 people live there, and the highway humps right around it. She’s now in her third year teaching at Drumright.

To Hagan, the average math textbook was, itself, a problem to be solved.

“I decided we were gonna make our own textbooks.”

Her students begin with blank composition notebooks, which become their textbooks. Each day, Hagan hands out a lesson she’s written herself or open-sourced from other teachers across the country. It’s usually printed on colored paper and requires some kind of hands-on work: drawing, coloring, cutting.

“The point is, we shouldn’t have to be like, ‘Oh, yeah, there’s that chart on page 763 that tells me how to classify something.’ They should think, 'Oh, that’s on that blue paper that we did a few days ago, and I doodled in the corner,’ ” she explains.

The Teacher Who Believes Math Equals Love

Photo and GIF credit: Elissa Nadworny/NPR

How Cory plans his classes on Girl Meets World.
  • Cory: What's Riley complaining about now?
  • Topanga: trouble with her friends.
  • Cory: So the military history lesson plan?
  • Topanga: It seems really bad.
  • Cory: The WWII lesson plan?
  • Topanga: They're not talking to each other.
  • Cory: Cold War it is.
  • Topanga: Thank goodness you don't teach math.
  • Cory: I know right?