5/15/2013 9:45:00 AM Glassford Hill's Colgan is County's top First Year Teacher
John Colgan teaches seventh grade math at Glassford Hill Middle School in Prescott Valley. He was chosen Yavapai County Education Foundationís 2013 Outstanding First
Lisa Irish Special to the Tribune
As John Colgan reviewed math problems with his seventh-grade class at Glassford Hill Middle School in Prescott Valley, he asked them what the absolute value of -3 was.
One student answered three, but another asked why, so Colgan asked for a definition from another student, listened, and said it was right. Then Colgan drew a number line that ranged from -3 to +3 and drew three hoops from zero to end on -3.
"Absolute value is the distance the number is from zero," Colgan said. "Since distance is always a positive number, that's why -3 or +3 have the same absolute value. They're both three units from zero."
Yavapai County Education Foundation honored Colgan as the 2013 Yavapai County Outstanding First-Year Teacher, and several other local teachers during an awards ceremony Friday night.
As an engineering student Colgan tutored at Yavapai College's learning center and learned how much he loves to teach.
"I really enjoy helping people figure it out and helping to explain it," Colgan said.
Teachers never teach anything just once, Colgan said.
"We go back and re-teach it for a second, third, and fourth time," Colgan said. "You want to teach from a different starting point or technique each time to see if you can make it more hands on or more visual."