The Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts’s (LSMSA) newest Instructor of Mathematics Dr. Olaseni Fadipe brings five principles into the classroom.
“I call it the Five C’s: Context, Content, Critical Thinking, Connection and Collaboration,” he listed. “I always try to incorporate these. It’s part of my make-up as a teacher.”
Originally hailing from Nigeria, Fadipe stated that the subject of math had always come easily to him, and he said that having dedicated teachers helped him discover his passion for the subject.
“When I was in sixth grade, I had a very good teacher and they taught the concepts really well. That made it easier for me when I went into middle and high school.”
Later on, he went to college at the Federal University of Technology Akure with the intention of studying computer science. However, upon entering school, he was unable to start immediately in computer science courses, so they placed him in industrial mathematics.
“I took it, thinking I would eventually take computer science, but then I realized it didn’t matter,” said Fadipe. “There was no point. I was enjoying the classes too much.”
He would go on to receive a Bachelor of Technology in Industrial Mathematics, and then a Master of Science in Statistics. Fadipe taught at various schools in Nigeria before meeting with one of the department heads at Central Michigan University, who encouraged him to apply for the college’s doctorate program.
“At that time, I was actually of thinking of going into the industry. I already knew I didn’t want to get my PhD in Nigeria, because I felt the resources weren’t there. But then, he came along and recommended I apply for the college in Michigan, so I did and I got accepted.”
Fadipe attended university and taught in Michigan for six years before receiving an adjunct teaching position at the Community College of Denver. A year later, he accepted a position with LSMSA.
He expressed that he has no regrets regarding the direction his education and career have taken him.
“There is something about teaching,” he said. “There’s a connection there. If I were in the industry, I would most likely be working in front of a computer. This way, you are working with people and make a real difference in their lives.”
Currently, Fadipe is teaching Pre-Calculus, College Algebra and Modern Algebra. Next fall, he will also offer Trigonometry and Advanced Statistics.
He expressed that there were some adjustments he had to make when moving to the area.
“One of the things I don’t understand is that it is hot one day, and then tomorrow it is cold!” he joked.
However, he has welcomed most of the changes with open arms.
“The teaching staff here has been very friendly and very warm. I feel welcomed, and that is very important. I also like the students here. They don’t struggle to understand concepts and they are very receptive to learning.”
When it comes to his teaching philosophy, he stated that of the Five C’s, critical-thinking and providing real-world contexts in the classroom are very important.
“When I teach math, my philosophy is if you can find real-world contexts to explain the ideas, you should start from there,” he suggested. “If you can find it, you bring it into the classroom. The students use them, and it motivates them and fills them with ideas.”
When he is not teaching, Fadipe enjoys listening to Nigerian and classical music, exercising and watching NBA sports events. He has hopes in the future of developing a club for students centered on Operations Research.
LSMSA’s staff and faculty are made up of a diverse group of professionals, many of whom have received the highest degree in their field. To learn from some of Louisiana’s top educators, apply now for the 2019-2020 school year at http://www.LSMSA.edu/apply.