When Ian Copple came to the University of Illinois, he knew he loved math. It took until his junior year to realize he also loved sharing his understanding with others. That's when he transferred into the Secondary Education minor program.
A little bit about Ian:
Q: Where is home for you?
A: I grew up in a rural town south of Champaign-Urbana, Teutopolis, IL.
Q: What is your year and major?
A: I'm a senior Math major, Secondary Education minor.
Q: What do you enjoy about the campus experience, so far?
A: Growing and changing over the past four exciting, brutal years.
Q: How did you know you wanted to go into the field of education?
A: I have always loved math. Tutoring, and sharing my understanding with others, that "a-ha!" moment is what I love now, too.
Q: What do you enjoy about the College of Education?
A: That Secondary Ed courses are structured like grad school courses and that we are treated as professional adults.
Q: Do you have a favorite professor or course? Why?
A: LAS 199 DLC (Design Your Life & Career) with Brian Neighbors. I took his 8-week course during the second half of Spring 2020... during the onset of the pandemic. This was the perfect time to engage in peer discussions about goals, personal values and motives, and exploration during our "Odyssey Years". It was a course about growing and changing that I took during a time when the world was in apocalypse mode. Brian's entire goal in this course was to see us succeed personally and in our future careers.
Q: What is a fun fact about yourself?
A: I can play the saxophone while riding a bike. And I post math animations on Instagram (@iancopple_math) and TikTok.
Q: Tell us about any research you've done with Education instructors.
A: I've participated in Illinois Geometry Lab (Developing Exciting Outreach Material) under Philipp Hieronymi for two semesters. This fostered my desire to be an educator and led to my transfer into the Secondary Education minor. I also personally started to use social media for math outreach during the pandemic as a direct result of these research projects.
Q: Tell us about your future plans, post-graduation.
A: I plan to teach high school math for at least the first few years after graduating in Spring 2022. Any further into my life plan and I would be blindly guessing. Ideally, I would teach community college math or be a YouTube educator who draws a salary from a Patreon account. Or just do my hobbies (math, music, woodwork, coffee, art) and live off the land, but I question how sustainable that is. I'm young and in my "Odyssey Years", as Brian Neighbors would put it.
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