Ms. Richardson: Why I Became a Math Teacher


Meelah Green, Editor-n-Chief

Her skin glistened as the sun shined upon her. The cool breeze blew through her hair as she gazed at the crystal-clear waters. The sand stroked through soles/heels of her feet. This was the last day that Martine Richardson was able to glance at the beach in St. Thomas. She was unsure what might be in stored for her in the United States, but her love for math, which ran like blood through her veins, encouraged her to leave everything behind, at home.


Before living in the United States, Ms. Richardson originally lived in St. Thomas U.S. Virgin Islands. As a child, her parents had moved to Aruba. “My parents had moved to the Island of Aruba and we lived there for at least five of my formative years, there on the island,” said Ms. Richardson. As an adolescent growing up in Aruba , Ms. Richardson enjoyed certain things that a typical child wouldn’t see as ordinary . Then again, what does it mean to be ordinary? “As a youngster growing up, I’ve always loved sewing and when I became an adult, I loved fashion,” said Ms.Richardson. “I also played volleyball, in my younger days.


With a love for fashion and volleyball, it’s interesting how Ms. Richardson fell in love with mathematics . ” In my family, there are a lot of educators that I emulate,” said Ms. Richardson.” Being around my family members who are educators has somewhat influenced me to follow that path as a career; as a teacher.” Nevertheless, Ms. Richardson’s family has played a major role in shaping whi she is today.


With the inspiration and admiration she received from the educators in her family, Ms. Richardson attended college, where she majored in mathematics and then later when back to school to receive her master’s degree. ” I did my undergraduate studies at the college of Virgin Islands, but now it is the University of the Virgin Islands ,” said Ms. Richardson.” After that, I went to graduate school on the Island of Long Island and did my master’s degree in mathematics secondary education. With a bachelor’s and master’s degree in mathematics under her belt, Ms. Richardson, finally set out to find a job as a teacher.


Before teaching at Overlea High school, Ms. Richardson taught at several schools on the island of St. Thomas. “I taught four years at the high school locally on the Island of St. Thomas, said.” From then on, Ms. Richardson taught at Charlott-Amalia high school and the University of Virgin Islands. ” I’ve taught at the Charlott-Amalia school, which is in St. Thomas , Virgin Islands for eighteen years.” I’ve also taught for sixteen years at the University of Virgin Islands , as well as, an part-time math instructor.


Today, Ms. Richardson teaches at Overlea high school, and enjoys the life she has made here. ” I love my job as a teacher because I enjoy sharing my knowledge that I have acquired with other people, especially students,” said Ms. Richardson. ” I know mathematics is not an easy subject for a lot of students and I always look at the student’s knowledge and try to meet them where they are with their skills.” Just like everyone else in this world, no one is perfect. There are days in which Ms. Richardson finds difficult. ” The most difficult aspect of teaching for me is to make sure that all students get the concept that I have planned for them to learn that day. However, Ms. Richardson has found away to solve this issue.” I’ve learned how to modify it according to students skills, break it down to their terms, so that they can understand it,” said Ms. Richardson.


Ms. Richardson not only inspires the students she teaches in the classroomo but  also  other teachers, such as Mr. Bryant. ” Ms. Richardson is a very easy person to get along with,” said Mr. Bryant.” Always smiling, always willing to help people. She’s a great colleague,” said Mr. Bryant. Ms. Richardson is an excellent role model and has inspired Mr. Bryant to become a better teacher. “Its not a lot of people I respect, but when she says something I know she’s telling me for my own good and she’s trying to make me a better teacher,” said Mr. Bryant.


When you walk into school the next day, take a moment to walk down to room 214, and you will see a medium size woman, with short brown hair and a smile that could cover this whole school. Take a good look at her. Can’t you see the passion to teach through her eyes and the enthusiasm to inspire students to love mathematics like she does through her smile ? Ms. Richardson is not only known as a teacher, but also an excellent, colleague, mother and grandmother. We are proud to have a teacher like her, here at Overlea.