by Charissa Veal
CLEVELAND, Ga., (TMNews) – Professor John Dykeman, a Truett-McConnell College adjunct professor of math and math tutor, loves to teach. “I have always been a teacher, helping others in high school, homeschooling my children, teaching subordinates, and tutoring others.” When asked which he prefers, teaching or tutoring, he replied, “I enjoy both teaching and tutoring because it is all about helping the students learn.”
Originally from Rome, N.Y., Dykeman moved to Orlando, Fla. at the age of 12, later graduated from Maynard Evans High School, and then earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida. Making his way up to the mountains of North Georgia, he completed his Master’s and Specialist degrees at Piedmont College and subsequently began his career in teaching. Dykeman says that, after visiting North Georgia for seven years, he and his family “really liked the area, so we moved here twelve years ago.”
From student to teacher
Because of his previous experience and natural predisposition towards teaching, Dykeman says that becoming a teacher after graduating from Piedmont was not very difficult: “The only real transition was teaching a larger group of students in the classroom setting.” Equipped with a love for teaching and math and a caring heart for his students, Dykeman pressed on to continue his teaching career.
In regards to his choice of which subject to teach, Dykeman had an interesting decision to make. “I am from German heritage, and I became interested in the language in high school where I learned from an Austrian German teacher,” he said. “I originally was an engineering student but later switched to German because I had taken so many German credits.”
Once he discovered his strong inclination towards the German language, Dykeman decided to pursue a path that allowed him to use his knowledge of German; however, he altered his course in order to suit the needs of the academic world: “I planned to be either a translator or a German teacher, but math teachers were needed more, and I enjoy teaching both.” As a result, Dykeman majored in German and minored in math and now teaches math in the official academic setting while enjoying outside opportunities to teach German just for fun.
A rewarding career
Throughout his many years of teaching, Dykeman assisted and encouraged students in their studies, something that impressed both students and their parents.. Recalling one of these instances, one of the most memorable moments of his career, Dykeman shared how he made an impact on a young students life: “A mom called the principal and told him I was awesome because I was the only teacher who took the time to help her son pass algebra, and he had tried three times before.” With a sense of purpose, Dykeman said “it is all about helping students succeed.”
“Helping students succeed and achieve their goals is definitely the most rewarding part of my career, which includes both academic and spiritual goals,” he continued. And more specifically, Dykeman believes, “realizng that math originated with God helps us to see how awesome He really is. The Biblical World View in my class revolves around math and science in the Bible, and this helps my students see the relationship between math and science and our creator, God.”
When Dykeman first came to Truett-McConnell four years ago, he tutored students in math, and a year afterwards, he began teaching as an adjunct professor. Still passionate about his life work, he says: “My favorite part of my job is helping students be successful.”
Dykeman plans to further his own education so that he may continue helping students by earning his PhD, which he hopes to complete in about two years.
Charissa Veal is a senior English major and a student writer for the college.
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