AP Teacher Named "Favorite Fanatic" by Bill Gates
AP Teacher Named "Favorite Fanatic" by Bill GatesCollege Board Communications
In a December 20 blog post on gatesnotes, Bill Gates described six of the "fanatics" who inspired him most in 2016. "Their hard work and dedication," wrote Gates, "fuel my optimism that our world’s best days are still ahead of us."
Among those featured was AP Government and AP Human Geography teacher Nate Bowling, from Tacoma, Washington. Here's how Gates characterized Bowling's influence:
"One of my favorite new phrases I learned in 2016 is 'nerd farmer.' That’s how Nate Bowling, Washington State Teacher of the Year, described his role in the classroom. 'I joke about being a nerd farmer. I’m trying to cultivate a kind of scholarship in students, and a passion for learning. So I bring passion to the classroom, and they see that and rise to the occasion,' he told me during our meeting in June. Nate teaches AP Government and AP Human Geography at Lincoln High School in Tacoma. Half its students are African-American or Hispanic and more than 70 percent are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch. Many students at high-poverty schools like Lincoln struggle and do not graduate ready for college or high paying jobs. Thanks to Nate and his colleagues, Lincoln is bucking that trend. It has a graduation rate of 80 percent, above the average for Washington schools with similar demographics, and 40 percent of its students are taking Advanced Placement (AP) classes. Nate is a great example of what it takes to be an effective teacher. He works hard at his craft, always searching for ways to make a subject relevant for his students. For example, he uses Star Wars to help explain Civil Rights. It’s pretty amazing. 'All kids can learn if they have the support,' he says."
Read more about Bowling and the other featured fanatics on gatesnotes.
Screenshot from gatesnotes.com.