SOME Q&A WITH MR W (DENNIS WEICHMAN)
How do your Math Study Guides differ from all the other math books that are available?
I think the main difference is the fact that they were written in response to requests from students. In that regard, they are focussed on what students need rather than the typical math book where the main focus is the math.
Can you tell us more about the requests you mentioned?
When I retired as a full-time teacher I began tutoring students from the public, private and separate school systems….and what I found was that although there are many excellent teachers out there, many of my students did not have access to proper form and good examples on how to approach problems. So I wrote a guide for Grade 10 Academic Math….had 200 copies printed and available for sale at a school uniform store. Not only did they sell out very quickly but I began receiving e-mails from students requesting more grade levels….so I spent the next 2 years writing books for Grade 8 to Grade 12.
Is there a unique format for each of your Guides?
Each book contains a set of tests and an exam covering the course topics. Every question has a detailed solution (not just an answer, but a step by step solution). So the test or exam can be used for practice before the class test and you can check your work with my solutions. Also if you can’t answer a question you can look at the solution to see what you should have done. The hope is that my solutions will relieve some of the stress around test or exam time. (…and by stress I mean not only the stress felt by the student but also stress sometimes felt by Mom or Dad).
What would you describe as your greatest strength in relating to students?
To answer that, several things have to be tied together. The main one is that even after 50 years of teaching I still enjoy working with teenagers. The next is that I always had to work hard at math so I have a lot of empathy and can usually see where the problem lies. And finally I can appreciate the fact that many students are not enthusiastic about math….it’s a hurdle that they have to get over and I’m there to help.