Emotionless Math Teachers

Throughout high school and especially college, I noticed a common denominator among most of my math teachers and their personalities, or lack thereof. Many of them seemed unable to show any emotion except when describing math, or when showing disdain or exasperation for those who couldn’t grasp immediately their six greenboards of mathematical theorems and proofs. Forget about humor. I remember those laser stares, but with a quizzical look, like what point or question was I trying to ask. I might add that math always came easy to me so I am not holding a grudge. The reason I bring this up is because a Proctologist told me that it sounds like Aspergers. Honestly. I’m wondering if others have had the same experience (with their math teachers).

I’ve had two who were like that. The others had normal personnalities (well…in fact, not that normal for two others, but nothing like what you describe).

ETA : I used to have a friend who was a math professor and I always thought he had something like Asperger or a schizoid personnality.

All my math teachers were rather fun. One in uni was a Taiwanese grad student who came in one day giggling uncontrollably because he’d just found out the singular of “dice” was “die.”

My high school math profs were actually quite a lot of fun. My freshman year advanced algebra teacher was particularly charismatic. Coach of the baseball team, wrote a book on baserunning and outfielding, was very involved with fundraising and community events. Just a swell all-around guy. None of my math teachers have had the stereotypical math personality you describe.

I had one Chemistry teacher like that. He was a nice enough guy with endless patience but he was serious. Humor just didn’t register with him at all. He was a pretty young guy who had grown up and gone to college in a major city on the East coast and my time with him was only his second year of teaching so I think he really hadn’t figured out how to connect with a group of fifteen year old kids in a small Kansas farming community.

Math has always been a sore spot with me. I was considered a prodigy in grammar school but in high school dropped out. Now 50 years later I am still obsessed with finding formulas and solving problems. I would really like to continue where I left off and see how far I can get before I croak. I know I don’t have the same brain power but still enjoy it.

I was a math teacher (junior high, though, so maybe that’s not what you want) and once we started class there was no getting off topic no matter how much the kids wanted to talk about TV shows, or my pets, or movies, or anything other than math. But before or after class we kidded around and had fun. So once class started it was all business, but other than that it was pretty normal.

I don’t remember any of my college profs being like that, either, and I hadn’t planned on being a teacher so they were math classes from the math department, not education department.

Say what?

Sounds like he just pulled that out of his ass.

While my math teachers have been a little more nerdy and eccentric than say your average humanities teacher, I’ve not experienced what you’re describing in anything other than movies as a trope.

I dropped out of high school too, way back in the 70’s. But in my 50’s, I had my midlife crisis and decided to make up for a wasted life by attempting to take off where I left off. It’s a long story, but I was shocked how many brain cells I still had left, and how much was still up there but unused. Unlike you, I hated English and grammar, but my professors loved my writing, even though I still don’t know what a participle or adverb is. They do not teach how to write anymore.

I had the same math teacher all 4 years of high school. I liked her. She wasn’t kooky or eccentric but she clearly loved math and taught it well. The most boring teacher I had was the high school english teacher who spoke in a monotone and couldn’t grasp the fact that elementary school wasn’t teaching diagramming sentences anymore.

Umm…Can I ask why you were discussing math teachers and their potential mental disorders with a proctologist? :confused: Just a tad odd is all…

Well, the Uni Bomber guy was a math prodigy, attended Harvard, University of Michigan (PHD) and taught College for awhile. He had a promising career ahead of him before his obsessions took over.

I often wondered what it was like having him for a teacher.


No, it sounds like a vegetable. Yummy.

Since the OP is asking about personal experiences, let’s move this over to IMHO.

General Questions Moderator

ain’t it true.

chemistry teachers make exciting explosions. physics teachers can make huge loud sparks.

math teachers can show you a saddle. big whoop.

it really is an all depends. there is plenty of science that moves slow and is really hard. there is plenty of math that is spectacular, beautiful and wonderful.

math also is needed for its own and the natural, physical and social sciences. so much math instruction can be as unexciting yet as fundamental as learning to read. teachers personalities differ and so will how things are taught at different levels of the subject.

Here’s the story: I’m 54, nervous, having my first colonoscopy, and the nurse prepping me for the procedure mentions that she see’s that I am studying Chemistry in college. She tells me about her daughter who is a math major, and I proceeded to tell her about my math professors (The I.V. drip was already going into me). The Doc at my rear said it sounds like asperger’s. I don’t remember much after that.

My Junior High School math teacher was a violent, angry, roaring, yelling monster! The whole class watched in shock and horror as he beat the living s*** out of one student.

(Later, we had mixed opinions, because that one kid was the nastiest bully in the whole school.)

Holy sheesh, the guy was a monster. And yet, oddly enough, it was in his class that I first came to realize my love for math.

What makes you think that a proctologist would have any particular insight into mental disorders?