Get to Know Your Teachers is our regular interview series where we sit down with ISD faculty, both new and returning, to learn more about them, their interests, and how they ended up at ISD! This week's interview is with Mr. Stephen Egge, IB Math and Math 9 and 10 Teacher!
How long have you taught at ISD?
This is year five.
Where were you before?
Previous to this school, I was at The American School of Doha. Before that I was in Libya. I got evacuated out of Libya during the war. In 2011, during the Arab Spring. And before that I was in the UAE... I like the desert.
What do you teach now?
I teach IB Higher Level Math. And a Math 9 and Math 10, Extended.
Have you always taught math?
No, it’s been usually split between math and technology. I’ve taught a lot of computer graphics and computer animation. So I kind of bounce back and forth between math and tech.
So which do you like teaching better, math or technology?
Hmm. You know, I get tired of being in front of a computer, so when I was really heavily into 3-D animation and graphics and doing game design, I would be up until 3a.m. and I’d get sick of sitting in front of a computer.
What do you enjoy about teaching math?
A lot of kids don’t like math, and I get it. I wasn’t very good at math in high school. And I didn’t really fall in love with it until later on. But one thing I like about teaching math is changing kids attitudes about it and creating a nice environment. Kids may not like math but they come in [the room] and it’s a nice environment. Even the kids who are struggling, they like being here. And so that’s one thing that I love about it—I can make kids more comfortable with the subject.
Well why do you think most kids don’t like math?
It’s hard! And it builds. If you have a weak foundation it just gets worse. A lot of times parents say ‘they’re not good at math’ and it drives me crazy. Because it builds this sense of [thinking] in students, 'I was never good at math.' But math is hard. When you’re trying to solve a word problem you’re going from a written form to symbolic form and that is difficult. And math education has changed a lot.
How would you describe the students at iSD?
Kind. They genuinely want to do well. They’re conscientious. They intermingle with other nationalities. Different ethnicities. There's a lot of open-mindedness.
What is something most people at ISD don’t know about you?
I build kites... I collect stamps. Space stamps.
Stamps specifically with spacecrafts on them. I’ve been doing that forever. That and I’m very shy. I can’t speak in front of a group. I was asked to be the graduation speaker my first year at the American School of Dubai. The kids really wanted me to do it. But I said no way. I would have been stressed out for months.
Favorite meal at Shady Shack?
Favorite place in Senegal?
Being on the beach.