BUSHNELL, Fla. — Charlie Breen teaches several different levels of calculus classes at South Sumter High School in Bushnell.

What You Need To Know

  • He says building strong relationships with his students help

  • He tutored math students in high school and college

  • A former high school teacher encouraged Breen to pursue teaching

  • Nominate and learn more about A+ Teachers here

"I try to make it as fun as possible, if you can make math fun. I try to make it a place where they can ask me questions — where they feel safe doing that because that's the only way that they're going to learn," he said with a laugh.

Breen says building strong relationships with his students helps too.

"I try to build good bonds with them to where they want to learn from you, and I stay after school with students all the time to help them with homework and stuff ... try to talk to them as they walk in the door in the quick few minutes that you have," he explained.

The Sumter County teacher is all about the math and wanted to make sure he got a job he loved. 

"I always wanted to talk math with my friends when we were coming up. They never wanted to, so I said, 'OK, I'll get a job where people are forced by law to listen to me teach about math,'" he said with a laugh.

It was an equation that started coming together in high school and in college, where he tutored math students. Then one of his high school teachers gave him a nudge and told him he should pursue teaching. Breen adds, "It all kind of just pointed in that direction." 

He has no regrets. He adds, "You just have to make it interesting for them to learn. I've always thought that critical thinking is one of the main attributes of a good math student, but of really successful people."