Instructor emphasizes practical math skills

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl event“They learn the everyday practical knowledge they need in the real world,” Aronsky said. “Kids today know how to do algebraic equations but not how to write checks.” Aronsky strives to combine the worlds of business and education in his classes and pulls from his 30 years of experience as a teacher and 17 years as a computer programmer and customer service supervisor for a telephone company in Florida. His work has earned him recognition by the California Business Education Association, which is honoring the 52-year-old with the Outstanding Business Educator award for middle and junior high schools. He receives the award today at a conference in Monterey. The New Jersey native also teaches keyboarding and an introductory computer class at the school and is working on a career path of courses that students would start in middle school and continue through community college. In the end, they could graduate with specialized certificates and enter the work force in fields such as medical billing, coding and closed captioning. “Not every kid goes to college,” he said. “You’ve got to make them marketable.” SANTA CLARITA – Pulling up her portfolio online, 12-year-old Teresa Kim checked how her stock did the previous day and let out a sigh of relief. It was up. Her investments were looking good. The seventh-grader learned how to buy and sell stocks, invest and make other financial decisions in a business math class at La Mesa Junior High. The stock assignment was done with pretend money. Taught by Jeffrey Aronsky, the class aims to show students about the practical side of life and the role math has in it. Check writing. Shopping. Buying cars. And while his pupils learn the practical side of life through these courses, it also brings some basic learning skills to others. For 14-year-old Jordan Bautista, learning the keyboard provides another way to master English. The eighth-grader from Colombia typed and retyped words from his textbook onto his computer screen: sag, wag, rag, hag. He paused after typing each one and softly pronounced the words to himself. Across the room sat Kristyna Underwood, a 14-year-old with autism. Through the class she has learned the keyboard and her reading skills have improved, said mother Colleen Underwood, who helps Aronsky with the class. The Santa Clarita mother said the class has connected with her daughter because the skills involved are direct, and autistic children don’t typically do well with abstract types of work. “She learned to type and her reading has excelled,” said Colleen Underwood, who now plans to get her daughter a computer at home. Sitting behind his desk, Aronsky watches his class at work. A few teddy bears, toy cats and other stuffed animals – presents from former students – adorn his work area. Suddenly the theme song to the 1970s TV show “Welcome Back Kotter” sounds from his computer, an alert that a new e-mail has arrived. He laughs and explains that it’s a reference to his high school in New Jersey, where he once attended and then returned to teach after college. His career took him to Florida, where he taught part time at an adult school and later moved to full-time work. But after layoffs hit the area, the vocational teacher found himself out of a job. Then he came to California. It was supposed to be a vacation. He ended up with a job at La Mesa, where he’s worked for four years shaping his courses. “I’m only beginning now,” Aronsky said. “I’m only warming up.” [email protected] (661) 257-5254160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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