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Know Your Pelicans

Meet Ian Rumsey

Mathematics Department Head

Know Your Pelicans

What do you teach? What is one of your favorite parts of the curriculum?

I teach Upper School Math. One of my favorite parts of the curriculum is helping students to embrace the role of the infinite and infinitesimal in calculus. It is a brand new way of thinking that opens up a whole world of mathematical possibilities that were not available before.

Besides your subject, what’s something you hope to teach your students?

I hope to teach students how to be resilient, creative problem solvers. When faced with a challenging problem, I hope that my students will have the tools to tackle it and the persistence to push through to a solution.

What’s one thing you love about your colleagues?

I learn from my colleagues every day. Sometimes that is formally in professional growth opportunities, but more often it is informally. I love working in the math office, knowing that if I have a question about math, pedagogy, or student growth, I can turn and ask the room and be guaranteed a thoughtful response. I have learned as much or more in these informal settings during my time at Packer as I have in formal professional development throughout my career.

If you had an inspirational fridge magnet (and we’re not saying you would), what would it say and why? 

I do have an inspirational fridge magnet, which was a gift from a student many years ago. It says, “Ride the Tiger of Creativity!” I don’t know why she made it, or why she gave it to me, but I love it. It captures the excitement and joy (and sometimes terror!) of grabbing hold of a new idea and seeing where it goes.

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