Eddie went from ace-classroom-math-teacher to ace-classroom-math-teacher-viral-sensation after he began filming his lessons and putting them on YouTube to keep a sick student up to date. His lessons went from one subscriber to over 200,000 from Australia and all over the world.
Eddie is now a well-known figure, has been ranked as one of the top 10 teachers in the world and was honoured as a Local Hero in the 2018 Australia Day Awards.
What do you love about teaching maths to kids and why did you choose to be a teacher?
I love teaching maths because it helps us to appreciate and understand the patterns all around us in the world. I chose to become a teacher because I love being able to have a positive impact on the lives of young people and helping them discover how they can make a difference in the world.
You have said that you are “not a teacher who’s Christian”, you are “a Christian who’s a teacher”. can you explain this?
If for some reason I had to stop being a teacher tomorrow, I would find something else to do with my life where I could help others in my community —because while I love being a teacher, it is not core to my identity or who I am. On the other hand, I am a Christian no matter what, and nothing can change that. It is not that I’m a teacher trying to include Christian things in my life. Rather, it is that I am a Christian seeking to follow Christ in the context of being a teacher.
What is so beautiful about maths?
One of my favourite quotes is from the Italian scientist and thinker Galileo: “Mathematics is the language with which God wrote the universe.” What he meant is that when we understand mathematics, we can comprehend and appreciate the world around us in ways that would be impossible otherwise. Things that might look at first to be random—like the branches of a tree or the flow of weather—are actually the result of patterns. Mathematics is beautiful because it allows us to grasp and even use those patterns in powerful ways.
Tell us about ‘Wootube'.
Wootube is my YouTube channel where I upload videos of my everyday classroom lessons. Six years ago I taught a student who was very unwell and couldn’t attend school while he received treatment in hospital, but I wanted him to be able to continue learning. So I used my phone to record my lessons and then uploaded them in a form he could use. Since then, hundreds and thousands of people from all around the world have found the videos helpful for their learning too, which is amazing to me!
You’ve been honoured as one of Australia’s “Ace Men” in High Five to the Boys. who were the “ace” role models you had growing up?
Since the earliest time I can remember and still to this day, I’ve admired my older brother Kevin. He taught me many of the most practical skills I have, such as how to drive, how to play the guitar and how to understand technology. But more importantly, he embodied the character that I wanted to be — willing to stand up for right, respectful toward others and always curious about the world.
You are a role model for thousands of kids in the classroom and online. what keeps you inspired?
Kids themselves! They are so creative, moved by seeing need around them, open to new possibilities and capable of imagining solutions that constantly surprise me. In particular, seeing the intense change that young people go through when they go from Year 7 to Year 12 is a constant inspiration for me to be the very best teacher I can be – for their sake.
How will you spend Father’s Day?
Serving at church in the morning, then heading to a family birthday party!
On this day, what would be your…
A cup of tea and a freshly steamed Asian pork bun.
Enjoying some great weather with my family outdoors.
Time to play with my kids.
Fave movie to watch with the family?
Favourite place to go?
Somewhere with an awesome bike track!
Dads show their kids how to do heaps of things—some, like Eddie, might teach their kids how to love maths, others might teach their them how to ride bikes, climb trees, do tricks on trampolines or build stuff. But most of all, the Bible tells us the best thing dads can teach their kids is how to love God and live the way he wants them to live. “Teach children how they should live and they will remember it all their lives” (Proverbs 22:6).