Patrick Fahey
Year Graduated: 
1981
Degree: 
Undergraduate
Teaching mathematics at Lowell High School since 2004, SFUSD since 1989.  Went to Berkeley originally as a Math major, switched to Psychology after meeting Lew Abrams, a brilliant guy with big ideas and lots of energy to put them into practice.  Lew eventually got his Phd in Psychology.  I developing a lifelong friendship with Lew, who convinced me that I could get my degree in Math later but that I'd never have another opportunity to understand why some students have difficulty learning mathematics.  From the very beginning I told the recruiter at Berkeley that I my life dream was "to become the math teacher I never had but wished I had."  One that was devoted to helping those with confidence issues to develop their potential in math.  I spent my life in school helping other students in my classes, interpreting what the teacher was trying to teach.  I was always saying under my breath while class was going on, "why didn't the teacher just say it like such-and-such.  It would have been so much easier for the other students to understand.  I got into trouble raising my hand and reinterpreting for the rest of the class.  Not just in math, but in most classes.  In any case, I became that teacher.  UC helped me get there, and I'm still learning how to reach the pinnacle, still a lifelong learner in the field of mathematics education.  I am coming up on my 25th year teaching, and it has been a blast the whole time.  I still love it, and I'll still love it after I retire.  So in a sense, I will never really 'retire' from teaching.  Today, I still have extensive contact with my students from years ago.  Some are almost 40 and have families.  They are my extended families, and I bump into them all the time in the Bay Area, and sometimes around the country.