Terrific Teacher: Ridge Middle School's Tom Dwyer

Ridge Middle School teacher has unique approach

MENTOR - Every single one of Mr. Dwyer's eigth grade math classes at Ridge Middle School in Mentor begins with a goal.

Today, the goal is to solve equations with variables. The first thing students are expected to do is to write the day's goal on paper.

"He always makes us write it down and we'll keep thinking about it periodically throughout the lesson," said student Audra Gormley.

By the end of the lesson, most students achieve that goal.

"He's really nice and he gets us involved," said eigth grader Allison Kubitza.

Getting the students involved is something Mr. Dwyer does well. He realizes children at this age love pop music, so he's found creative ways to incorporate popular songs into his lessons.

For example, when students had a hard time remembering if the sign is on the left or the right of the number, Mr. Dwyer called it the Beyonce sign to help students remember the sign moves to the left after Beyonce's famous song lyrics, "To the left, to the left."

And the song Justin Timberlake and NSYNC made famous called "Bye Bye Bye," helps students to remember when to cross out terms in an equation.

"I enjoy connecting with kids and I think the greatest teachers are those that can really relate with the kids at what ever level," Dwyer said.

Mr. Dwyer has also written songs to help his geometry students understand Box and Whisker plots for data analysis. To listen to the song, a remix of Wiz Khalifia's "Black and Yellow," click here.



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