PhD + students = Math Teacher of the Year Finalist

Dr. Marcus Washington teaches 5th grade math and his students say he's extremely helpful. In fact multiple students including Za'yona Wooden told Fox 31 News that he asks them if they need help every day. "All teachers say if you need help I'm there, but not on a daily basis. He tells us that like constantly, like nonstop. He tells us that every day" says Wooden.

Dr. Washington says he asks daily to make sure everyone understands the previous lessons. "If I'm teaching them something that they already know then we're wasting everybody's time. So if they tell me what they don't know then we're using our time very wisely and we can get straight to learning what they need help with" says Washington.

Since fifth graders are known to be too shy or embarrassed to ask for help, Jacobe Weaver told Fox 31 that sometimes Dr. Washington will trick students to make sure they understand the material. "He'll tell us 'I don't know how to do that.' 'Can you help me with that?' But he actually knows how to do it, he's just trying to make sure that we know how to do it and it really helps a lot of us out.

Dr. Washington says he's invested in his students because of a rule that guides his teaching style. "I try to treat every child as if he or she is my own child and teach them like that" says Washington.

His students say they appreciate the questions, attention, and help. "We get loosened up and we just tell him what we really need help on, because he wants us to do our best and he really wants us to go high" says Weaver.