Yoomi Van Horne
On a trip to Death Valley, Yoomi Van Horne and her husband brought a piece of metal bent in the shape of a parabola connected by a strip of wood. Visiting remote areas in the desert, Van Horne and her husband applied their knowledge of math to receive cell reception on their phones, using the metal and wood model.
“The cell reception bounces off the metal parabola and is concentrated at the focus, which allows me and my husband to receive cell reception even in remote areas,” Van Horne said. “Examples like these where students can see a real life application of math is very helpful.”
Van Horne joins Lynbrook’s team of mathematics teachers this year as an Algebra 2 and PreCalculus Honors teacher. Having previously taught at Monta Vista, Van Horne wanted to stay in the FUHSD community.
“I love teaching at Fremont Union High School District, because they support the teachers well, which really allows teachers to support the students well,” Van Horne said. “The teachers are very excited and dedicated, and you can feel the energy from the students’ excitement.”
At Lynbrook, Van Horne has taken a more applicable approach in teaching mathematics. From real life experiences to handmade prototypes, Van Horne wants students to be able to see the connection between what they are learning and real life.
“I think learning is really helpful when it connects to what they already know,” Van Horne said. “This helps them enjoy learning a lot more.”
Van Horne’s passion for mathematics started off when her family first immigrated to Australia when she was 12 years old. As a new English-language learner, math helped her gain the confidence she needed in academics. She likes the adrenaline rush she gets when she solves daunting, complicated problems, and she wants to share that with her students. She wants her students to truly enjoy mathematics, and hopes to improve their experiences with mathematics.
“I know for many students, they feel really confident in math, but for some students, math is not their best subject,” Van Horne said. “My goal is, if they are coming in with any negative experiences, I hope to turn that into a more positive one. If they already enjoy math, then I want them to love math.”
Van Horne cares not only about her students’ academic progress, but also wishes her students to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
“I do care about students walking away from this class,” Van Horne said. “When students know that I truly care about them, not just academically, but emotionally and physically, is when they are willing to work with you more.”