# How I Went from Bored and Burnt Out to Passion and Pixels

Hi There! My name is Jordan, and I am the mind behind mathbythepixel.com. I’m also the awkward excited guy you see in the videos on Math By The Pixel’s YouTube Channel.

After many years of battling major burnout and boredom with being a classroom mathematics teacher, I decided to leave what I thought was my dream career to pursue a passion in digital mathematics content creation.

That’s a thing…right? Well, it is now!

My goal is to show you a side of math you have *never* seen before. To do this, I create unique math videos that are both helpful and entertaining.

That’s right, because math is awesome. And I’m here to prove it to you!

## Math is Awesome (and So Are You)!

One of the reasons students find math so challenging is because … well… it *is* challenging.

But just because something is a challenge doesn’t mean you can’t overcome it. And just because you find math hard doesn’t mean you are “bad at math”.

One of the things that sets me apart from other math teachers is that I help you focus on building a positive mathematical mindset and a positive relationship with math.

During my time in the classroom, I worked with thousands of students to develop a growth mindset approach to math. This means that I showed students how to recognize that, yes, math can be hard, but you *can* get better.

My specialty is in helping students learn from failure. *Everyone* fails at some point. But failure is not the end of the road. Instead, failure is feedback to help you learn how to improve for next time.

You are more than your grade, and you are more than your struggles in math!

## My Teaching Style

Another thing that sets me apart from other math teachers is my unique style of teaching. I work hard to combine passion, knowledge, and a sense of humor to make my lessons engaging while still being easy to follow.

My favorite math teachers always had really wild personalities. I have memories of one who was literally Robin Williams as a math teacher. Over the years my style has evolved into a combination of those who taught me and my own sense of mathematical chaos.

I love the idea of being able to bring your passion for anything into a lesson and use it to inspire people. And I refuse to believe that math is a boring subject!

I have a lot of passion. For like, *everything*.

I love science, math, science fiction, and comics books. I’m a music geek, guitar player, and wannabe rapper. And I’ve been playing video games since before most of my students were born.

These are things that have made an impact on my personality, and I embrace that in my teaching. Who says a guitar doesn’t belong in a math lesson? Or why can’t we use video game characters to understand math?

When I was a classroom teacher, my math lessons were unlike any other teacher’s. And I aim to bring that to you here and on my YouTube channel.

## Leaving Classroom Teaching

Schools are fantastic places where you can go to learn almost anything. And education truly is the pathway toward *any* future that you can dream for yourself.

And classroom teaching can be a great job! But there was something seriously missing for me.

One day very early in my teaching career, I realized I was super bored with teaching math. Every day felt the same, and it felt like no matter how much passion I brought, at the end of the day I was still at the front of a board talking about things people think suck.

My wife had the brilliant idea to try something we learned about in Teacher’s College called ‘*the Flipped Classroom’.* The idea is that you record a video lesson for your students to watch at home. This was a way of having your students do the boring learning stuff at home to free up the next class to dig into it with the help of the teacher.

My YouTube channel started with a single video.

I grabbed a sharpie and paper and tipped my laptop camera down at my page. The video was a 20 min epic filled with “umms” and “uhhhs”. And if you look closely, you will see my desk change not once, not twice, but three times. It is rough and quite honestly terrible, but it got the job done.

You can watch it here if you dare!

Some students watched it, and some didn’t. But the ones that did came in ready to do something different. Just imagine what you could do with 1 – 1.5 hours of freedom to learn mathematics.

No teacher standing at the board. No worksheets. Just pure freedom to explore with a wild math teacher.

Things started getting crazy. Desks got moved to the edges of the classroom. Lessons became more about doing hands on activities. And sometimes, they just turned into directionless conversations about essential questions in mathematics.

My colleagues all thought I was crazy and that I wasn’t doing my job.

While this new approach to teaching math was fun, it wasn’t long before I realized that I was a square peg trying to fit in a round hole.

I didn’t belong in the classroom. I needed a different platform.

## Math By The Pixel Was Born

After I left teaching, I did some part time tutoring while teaching and developing math courses for an online school. Those courses needed content, and I was a thirsty creative looking to start pumping out video lessons!

My only choice was to learn how to make better videos. After all, who wants to sit and watch someone talk at the camera for 20 minutes? You can do that *in school*!

This is when I really started learning how to write, film, and edit videos. I am – and will always be – still learning, but I have started settling in on a style that matches and incorporates my personality and passion.

I practice creating pixel art every day. And I love building my skills and finding new ways to incorporate this incredible art style into everything I do at *Math By The Pixel.*

## It’s Time for You to Develop a Passion for Mathematics!

My goal is (and will always be) to find ways to push math instruction to the limit outside of the classroom.

I believe that you can learn anything, anywhere, anytime. There is something so restricting about having to go to a specific building at a specific time in order to learn something.

That’s just not how knowledge works. It’s all around you, and you should be able to discover it whenever and however you want. And math is no different. There are so many applications of math in everyday life that are just waiting to be discovered!

This is the main principle that led me to creating *Math By The Pixel* – an online multimedia resource that takes mathematics concepts and breaks them down into pixel-sized chunks that you can use to enhance your learning of the subject anywhere you have a screen.

Whether you are looking to discover more about calculus, or brush up on your factoring techniques, there is something here for every math student!

I am grateful to be a part of your journey toward a lifelong passion and love for mathematics!

**Check out Math By The Pixel on YouTube to start digging into this amazing subject!**