David Knott is an enthusiastic reader, hiker and language learner whose love of math led him to teaching the subject to sophomores and juniors. He grew up in Canton, Mass. and spent much of his life in Indiana, where he did not particularly like high school, or even math. When he got older and spent time reading about more interesting aspects of math, he decided to major in math during college.
What is your main goal for your students?
I think I want them to understand the material first and foremost, obviously. But also for them to like math and have a healthy attitude towards it, where math is not an impossible obstacle but a skill they can get better at and perfect. People have a preconception of math being fixed and requiring an innate ability that you’re either born with or not. That is really not true. It is a skill that you have to develop just like swimming or anything else.
How old were you when you started to like math?
It is hard to say because I didn’t like it when I was in high school. Sometimes, I would read about different types of math that we were not covering in school. I liked that, but generally speaking, I had a pretty negative attitude towards it until I started college.
What is a fun fact about you?
I have a dog. It is a chihuahua named Weenie.
What do you think about the Brookline High School community so far?
I think that it is awesome. I especially appreciate the explicit and consistent anti-racist and anti-sexist atmosphere and culture that comes through in all aspects of the school.