August 17, 2020
Desperately trying to figure out the secrets to her math homework at 3 a.m. used to be a weekly routine in the high school life of geometry teacher Jillian Bellamy. Despite constant challenges and frustrations, Bellamy always strived to succeed in her high school’s accelerated math courses.
Going into undergraduate school at Chapman University, Bellamy dreamed of becoming an elementary school teacher, as she adored working with kids. During her sophomore year, however, she began tutoring high school AVID students in math, discovering her passion for working with teenagers. Her classes had further inspired her to begin exploring the endless intricacies of math instead of just learning many concepts one after another.
“College is when I started to love math because I spent time trying to deeply understand it, which made me appreciate it more,” Bellamy said. “I regret not having a similar mindset in high school, but I am thankful that I was able to discover my love of math then.”
Bellamy graduated from Chapman in 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and received her Master of Education in 2020. Amid the pandemic, Bellamy relocated back to the Bay Area, where she grew up, to virtually start her teaching career here at LAHS.
“COVID-19 has changed my perspective on most things in my life, education being one of them,” Bellamy said. “For example, the integration of more technology into lessons is transforming traditional teaching practices to fit the needs of 21st century learners. While I acknowledge the many challenges and obstacles that this pandemic presents, I try to remain as optimistic as possible.”
Bellamy looks forward to introducing students to geometry in an engaging and hands-on manner to ensure that it isn’t just another class students have to endure sitting through. She also hopes that her students gain an appreciation for the implicit math concepts functioning all around them.
“I know teachers say it all the time, but math is truly everywhere,” Bellamy said. “While you might not be proving that two lines are parallel in your daily life after geometry, the critical thinking skills you are developing will be essential in any path you choose to take in life. I actually used geometry a few days ago to help my grandma remove a fork that was jammed in her dishwasher.”
Beyond her excitement for teaching in her new classroom, Bellamy admires the school community that she has already become a part of at LAHS.
“The LAHS community is full of the most supportive and positive staff and I truly see myself learning and growing every single day alongside my colleagues,” Bellamy said. “There is a general sense among staff that there is always more to learn and that we can always do even more for the students, which is something so unique and inspiring.”