Math teacher returns to full-time teaching

Keisha Piehl acclimates to new job


Rachel Salzer

Keisha Piehl helps students in her Advanced Algebra AB class. Piehl tries to leave time at the end of each class for students to ask questions.

Emma Leff and Anika Hanson

After long-term subbing for math teacher Christina Begin last spring, Keisha Piehl said she decided to return to full-time teaching this year.

According to Piehl, she is still adjusting to teaching full-time.

“I am still working to find my groove on managing my time well,” Piehl said. “I really want to get my stride on having the material take a nice chunk of class and having a good chunk of time for work time in class.”

Although it is her first year teaching full-time, Piehl said she has previous teaching experience.

“I started teaching right out of college. I taught for five years at a charter school for deaf students, so I taught math in American Sign Language,” Piehl said.

Piehl added that this was not her first time working in the district.

“(I was a substitute math teacher at) the high school and the middle school. At the middle school I (taught) 7th-grade math and at the high school I (taught) advanced algebra AB,” Piehl said.

According to Piehl, the Park math department has helped her settle into her new job.

“I love the math department. The teachers are very supportive, very helpful and funny. There’s just a great moral in the department,” Piehl said.

Piehl explained her love of math is one of the reasons why she enjoys teaching.

“I have failed some tests and struggled with material, but I think I have always liked (math),” Piehl said. “I always like how math has really concrete steps and you just follow the steps to get the answer.”

Despite math being a difficult subject for many students, Piehl said she believes her teaching style helps students appreciate math more.

“As much as I can, I try to make it fun. I try to weave in things from pop culture or life, just to add a little catch to it,” Piehl said.

Sophomore Abby Salzer said she excels with Piehl’s style of teaching.

“She makes the class enjoyable and she is very helpful. The notes we take, the daily homework, the projects and the review packets all help in different ways, which gives me a better understanding of the content,” Salzer said.

Despite the detailed planning required of teachers, Piehl said her relationships with her students makes it all worth it.

“I just really love the kids. My students make me laugh hard three or four times a day and that is so good for me,” Piehl said.