"Yay Math uses humor and positivity to conquer longstanding fears of math, in order to enable math success for everyone in the world."
- Robert Ahdoot, TEDx AJU, April 2012
Thank you for taking the time to learn more about what Yay Math is and what it stands for.
As several years of classroom teaching passed, a few themes began recurring. One was that it became increasingly clear when and where my students would have difficulty within our lessons. As my colleagues know, if we tune into our students, eventually we can almost predict their questions. The next theme was that year after year, the students and I have created a positive rapport centered around the mutual goals of our studies together. That tangible energy and spirit has such genuine value, one which I felt was vital to share with others in efforts to help them in their studies too. After a paradise trip to Jamaica, the idea of videoing my classes came about. The very next Monday, I brought a video camera to class, asked the students what they thought about the idea (to which they almost screamed their approval), stacked the camera on a bunch of books, hit record, and with the school's blessing, Yay Math went from an idea to a reality.
Now over ten years since that day, with a jaw-dropping 2 million minutes watched every month, media coverage in the press and in online blogs, articles published on prominent education and parenting outlets how to create inspired learning environments, social media pages full of success stories from around the world, our debut published book on the art of connected teaching and parenting, a full curriculum for teachers and homeschool families, TEDx talks, addresses given to schools nationwide, a live 1-on-1 program, and a number of groundbreaking video series such as StatsCenter... we've never looked back. The best part is that I feel that it's still just beginning. We have only begun a revolution in the way people achieve their educational and life goals.
What separates Yay Math from other programs are both the students in the videos, as well as the viewers online. The live student interaction sets this project apart from any other online tutorial out there, making it genuine and offering the feeling that anyone watching is in the room too. The students in my classes are also well aware that they are a part of something grand, so they feel compelled to participate in such a way that will benefit everyone involved. Then the viewers watch the videos . . . and I must say, that the response and feedback have been among the most inspiring and fulfilling experiences of my entire life. So many letters and calls have come in, sharing stories of despair turned to hope, so it is with that humility and gratitude that we continue to build this vision in the hopes of helping even more people.
A final message that I want to convey is this. The reality is that Yay Math has grown from an idea to a movement. People create ideas. Movements however, transcend beyond the realm of singular ideas. Movements are about a shared consciousness of all people. Movements are a feeling, an urge, an inspiration to connect and selflessly spread the same benefit felt by all. Thus the message from me is: Yay Math is not about me. It's about the mother of two in her 40s going back to school and using Yay Math to help her pass the math admissions exam, after several tries. It's about the parent or teacher who looks online for tools to accommodate their modern students' technological learning styles. It's about students everywhere who face an array of daunting obstacles yet still find ways to meet their challenges. That Yay Math benefits lives is really what the movement is all about. It's about so much more than me, it's about reaching our common potential. Thank you so much for the opportunity to be in this together. Yay Math is nothing without the people.