Faculty encouragement equals success; students say Witherspoon makes math more enjoyable


By MICHAEL SULLEN, Staff Reporter |

When it comes to math, some students have a hard time comprehending the material. Reem Witherspoon, Amarillo College math instructor and Math Outreach Center supervisor, helps students who have traditionally struggled with arithmetic build confidence in their skills.

 “There are a lot of things that I like about my job,” Witherspoon said. “It is very versatile and I work very closely with our students, which gives me a very clear sense of their struggles and concerns.”

According to her students, Witherspoon develops relationships with them by being patient, caring and having a kind personality. 

They described her as dedicated to her job and someone who will do whatever she can, including meeting before or after class, to make sure they understand the material. Having a good math teacher makes people less stressed and more confident about passing classes, students said.

“I love Mrs. Witherspoon because she teaches math very well,” Kristyn Serra, a graphic design major, said.

Witherspoon started teaching as a part time math instructor in the Access Learning Center during summer 2008. In 2009, she was offered a full-time job as a math instructor. In 2014, Witherspoon moved to the math and engineering department as the coordinator to the Math Outreach Center, the Math Testing Center and as a math instructor.

“She’s so great. She teaches everything to where you can understand it, gives us reviews, works through problems with us. It’s great,” Jessica White, a radiology major and math tutor, said.

Witherspoon said she focuses not only on the content being taught, but also on the students. Listening and looking out for signs of trouble helps her figure out ways to help students understand the material, she said.

Witherspoon also supervises the student math tutors at the Outreach Center. The students who work under her said they enjoy working with Witherspoon because she builds caring relationships with them.  

“I like working at the Math Outreach Center with Mrs. Witherspoon. She’s a caring person and has a big heart for the Outreach Center,” Anthony Do, a computer science major and Outreach Center student tutor said.

AC math students praised Witherspoon for her dedication to teaching, engaging students in learning, superior listening skills, deep knowledge and passion for their subject matter, friendliness and approachability, excellent preparation and organization skills, strong work ethic and community-building skills. When it comes to having the right skills to teach math, it all adds up.

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