Dr. Vicente Manzano: Inspiring students to love math
Updated: Apr 14
Dr. Vicente Manzano of Tekoa Academy prides himself on creating a learning environment that is adaptable and dynamic. For Vicente, bringing the joy of math to a new generation is a rewarding vocation to which he has dedicated his life.
Dr. Vicente Manzano hails from the Philippines and is currently in his second year of working as an international teacher through a teaching exchange program. Vicente believes it's important to always keep learning, and having graduated with a master's in educational management in 2015, he is now completing a dissertation program for a Doctor of Philosophy in educational management. Already he’s considering enrolling on another Master's program. This love of learning is something that he nurtures in his students, and he says that nothing brings him more joy than watching a student gain understanding into a mathematical concept and having the confidence to share that with their classmates.
When it comes to teaching, Vicente believes that it's not simply enough for a teacher to have a good understanding of the content they're teaching, but more importantly, one must master the art of pedagogy, without which, he says, students won't learn. In the classroom, Vicente employs scaffolding and spiral progression and injects the HOTS questions, following Bloom's Revised Taxonomy. "You must focus on developing the building blocks," said Vicente, "and teach the students to really love math."
To ensure that students open themselves up to loving math, Vicente makes sure to differentiate, understanding that one size doesn't fit all. By catering to students' different learning needs, Vicente is able to break down students' negative attitudes towards math.
Project-based learning is also a strong feature in his classroom. This dynamic element to the way he teaches, enables students to think creatively and see how different subjects link together. Another way in which Vicente breaks down barriers is by giving students insight into the ways that math is useful in their everyday lives. "To have a positive impact, you need to change their perspective first!" he said.
The methods and strategies Vicente employs in the classroom have truly had an impact, too, and since entering the classroom, his students have started to pass standardized tests with flying colors. Beyond this, Vicente has helped shape his students' futures and now has students in his class who are looking to enter fields such as engineering and accounting.
Photo courtesy of Vicente Manzano