Mr. Lee brings the fun back into math

Lee (far right) poses for a picture with his summer pre-calculus class during summer school 2022 at Rancho Cucamonga High School.

Photo courtesy: David Lee

Lee (far right) poses for a picture with his summer pre-calculus class during summer school 2022 at Rancho Cucamonga High School.

Mr. David Lee is one of many math teachers at Rancho Cucamonga High School. He is a teacher that many students would agree has helped them tremendously, especially in math. When first seeing Lee in classroom T-108, one immediately sees his big, joyful smile, as well as his decorated classroom. Students can learn so much about him just by observing his teaching style, his interactions with his students, as well as knowing how other students feel about him.

When discussing who Lee is, one would first want to learn about his high school career. Lee used to go to Montclair High School, which Lee is in the same district as Rancho Cucamonga High School.

“I did not go to Rancho as a student; I went to Montclair High School,” said Lee. “It’s part of the same district as Rancho, but, you know, a different high school.”

Mr. Lee walks around the room during a calculus class. (Fozaan Noor)

After graduating from high school, he went onto college to begin majoring in the subject that many of us all know him for; mathematics. However, he originally wasn’t planning on becoming a teacher. Lee described how over time, as he went in front of the class to do more and more presentations, he began to enjoy it and, at some point, began to pursue it as a job itself.

“When I was a math major in college, you know, the idea of me being the one up there delivering the information—that’s when it first came to mind,” said Lee. “And since then, I’ve been pursuing it, you know, and that’s what I do now.”

And many students can agree that he has helped them greatly. Some students say that taking mathematics first thing in the morning is something that is very unfortunate, since the majority of students are still sleepy and tired. However, Lee is able to fill his class with energy by engaging them with unique ways to teach his students.

Mr. Lee helps make math fun as he engages his students in a lesson. (Fozaan Noor)

“I would say that he’s been an amazing teacher. I’ve had him first period this year and every time I come in I’m usually tired and sleepy, but they way in which he teaches his lessons and notes gets you energized and engaged,” said junior Wahab Ahmad. “Every time I slack off, he makes sure to get on me which helps keep me punctual and engaged, specifically when I’m slacking and on my phone [or] coming in late to class.”

And this energy to wake students up has a great impact on many students’ impressions on him, as they see him as not just a teacher but also as a helpful and kind person. One could see that he is the type of person who understands students’ struggles as highschool students.

“I viewed Mr. Lee as a really good mentor throughout high school because he’s always helpful and he’s always there for any students who needs math help,” said junior Miner Zhang. “And as a person, he’s very kind and positive to everyone and always has a smile when people see him.”

However, although Lee teaches and helps in any kind of math, a common question that arises is why he never offers help in statistics, even though it falls under mathematics in the A-G Requirements. Many don’t realize, however, that although statistics falls under the mathematics requirement, it doesn’t have the same idea as mathematics itself.

Lee described how anytime a person asks a question related to math, he feels much more excitement than he does when a question is asked regarding stats.

“I don’t teach stats, I just—I’m not passionate about it, you know,” said Lee. “If you asked me—If you tell me ‘I have a stats question!’ I’m gonna be like ‘eh.’ But if you asked me a math question, like a pure math question, my eyes will light up, you know, so, I am a pure mathematician as it’s called. Pure mathematics.”

And this is understandable, as statistics is the idea of understanding different numerical values and applying them into data and mathematical theorems related to probability. Mathematics, however, has a much broader sense of using numerical values and applying them to everyday life.

And, like any other person, one usually has a place in the world that they usually would like to visit either by themselves or with friends and family. And Lee isn’t outside of this realm either.

When asked if he would like to go somewhere in the world that he has never been to, Lee explained how he would like to visit France and visit the Eiffel Tower.

“I would like to go to—I suppose Paris, France,” said Lee. “You know just to see the Eiffel Tower. To perhaps take the elevator to the top of the tower. And just to eat some food up there, it would be pretty cool.”

Many things about Lee can be said as well as seen from and about him. But, this information is just a small fraction of who David Lee is. If one would like to meet him or learn more about him, they can find Lee in T-108, and he always lends a helping hand to anyone. So if students have a question that is math related or would like to meet him in general, they can count on him to help out while having a great time.