Discover Chesterton Series: "Order and the Unknown: An Interview with Dr. Lynn Pyne, Mathematics and Science Teacher "
This article is the first in our monthly series entitled “Discover Chesterton.” The Discover Chesterton Series offers perspectives from students, parents, and teachers on the culture of life being cultivated at Chesterton Academy of Milwaukee.
1. Why did you decide to become a teacher?
Teaching is a passion I have had since I was a little girl. I used to hold my siblings hostage in a “homemade” schoolroom complete with real desks, school books, and homework. As I look back, every step of my journey has included teaching in some format. My passion and joy comes with taking the students’ unique gifts, learning styles, and challenges and finding the key to motivating them and helping them foster a desire within themselves to learn.
2. Why did you choose to teach math and science?
Math and science provide a unique combination of both order and the unknown. This allows for comfort in the predictable and yet excitement in the discovery. Math is logical, yet it is often presented in a very complicated way by textbooks. Teaching math allows me to work at finding ways to make the complicated seem logical and even easy, and it allows me to teach more than the facts. Math teaches that problems can be solved by following the rules and the process, and yet sometimes it takes creativity to arrive at the final answer. Further, it takes patience and persistence - two worthy virtues.
Science calls on the powers of observation and exploration to understand the world around us. It teaches organization, investigation, and wonder toward the Creator and the world He has given us to inhabit. Taught in the right way, all of the rigors of biology, chemistry, and physics can lead us toward goodness, truth, and beauty.
Finally, math and science provide another environment in which to apply the questioning and reasoning skills learned in the humanities. Many great theologians and philosophers were also involved in shaping the disciplines of mathematics and science. These disciplines are an excellent place to integrate what is being learned in the humanities with other facets of learning.
3. What is your favorite part about teaching at Chesterton Academy?
There are many amazing aspects of teaching at Chesterton Academy. The students are not afraid to ask questions and often draw on insights from different classes in their questions. For example, in Algebra I, a student recently asked whether numbers were discovered or invented—a question they had discussed in philosophy but wondered if math provided a different perspective.
The smallness of classes allows for individual attention and opportunities to explore areas that interest the students. The community created by faculty and students allows for the freedom of discovery in every aspect of the students’ lives. It is a joy to be a part of this amazing learning environment and to help form students into the leaders of the future.