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Teachers hold a great amount of untapped power. To improve their profession and society as a whole, teachers should be advocates for effective form within their schools and communities.

Matthew Neal
2014 Fellow

Matthew Neal

2014 Fellow
Fort Dorchester High School
North Charleston, South Carolina

Matthew is passionate about mathematics. While in high school, he noticed that many of his math teachers seemed jaded with the subject and that many of his fellow students had become disconnected with the material as a result. This experience fueled his desire to bring passion into the classroom, as a means of reaching the masses of students who declare that they’re not a “math person.”

Early on, Matthew decided that he wanted to become a teacher. During his senior year of high school, he applied to the South Carolina Teaching Fellows Program. Throughout his undergraduate career as a mathematics major at Winthrop University, Matthew participated in advanced enrichment and professional development activities through the program. Additionally, he worked in local high schools assisting English language learners with mathematics.

Following graduation, he enrolled in the Master of Arts in Teaching program at Winthrop. Matthew enjoyed all of his student teaching internships, especially the six weeks he spent teaching English and math to eighth graders at a private school in Shanghai, China. His teaching style differed largely from the lecture-based lessons to which his students had become accustomed. Matthew engaged them in activities and projects that made learning relevant. Most notably, he found their willingness to learn and be involved to be remarkable. Matthew learned a lot about himself by working with such disciplined students.

Through the KSTF Teaching Fellowship, he “expects to gain a network of knowledgeable peers who generate and share knowledge about effective STEM teaching practices.”

Matthew is a self-admitted math nerd who loves everything related to math and science. He is also a huge fan of stand up and improvisational comedy. Matthew has acted in and led several performing groups, which have helped him to hone his ability to act quickly and use humor—two skills that he uses regularly in the classroom.