WHS math department makes new addition

Watertown welcomes Elena Wikner, who comes from Denver via Williams and Berkeley


Raider Times photo / Didar Jajan

Elena Wikner is teaching Algebra II, Geometry, and AP Calculus at Watertown High School.

Didar Jajan, Raider Times staff

     Elena Wikner is a new math teacher at Watertown High School. She is from Denver and went to Williams College where she majored in Math. Ms. Wikner then took a year off after college before receiving her graduate degree from UC Berkeley. She taught in California and then joined us here at Watertown High School. Her hobbies include singing, contra dancing, reading, and hiking. (She walked across England this summer!)

Q: What was it that got you interested in teaching?

A: I was always interested in teaching, but at the same time wasn’t sure if I was really interested. I always thought as a student, how to explain something in my own way. When I was 8 I had created my first worksheet on teaching my friend’s little sister how to add, and we would use our fingers to try it out. It was very fun. I really knew I was interested in teaching around my senior year of college. I tried tutoring high school students and took education courses. The more I pursued education, the more I was into it.

Q: How long have you been teaching?

A: This is my second year of teaching.

Q: How do you feel about teaching at Watertown High School?

A: I love it. You guys are great. I’m having a lot of fun. It’s a nice community,  and the kids are very motivated.

Q: What are your thoughts about the school/community?

A: It’s nice that it’s a public school and that it is still a small school. That’s a way it can be a community, and also a way of teachers getting to know the students better. I also think it’s great how diverse the community is and how much you guys care about each other. That’s part of what makes your school a good culture, and you can learn from people from all around the world.

Q: What do you consider your strengths as a teacher?

A: I have a very strong background in math. I feel confident about that. I also have a lot of different ways in explaining things. I try to be very available as a teacher to the students. I think I am very hard working and committed, and I care about students.

Q: How is teaching at Watertown High School different from the last school you taught?

A: I am teaching different courses. At my last school, I taught Algebra I, and at Watertown I am teaching Algebra II, Geometry, and AP Calculus. This is a smaller school and there are smaller class sizes and I like it better because I get to know the students better.

Q: What do you hope to achieve by being a teacher?

A: I want to help people know whatever math they need to know for their lives, but I also want to help people see the things that are beautiful or cool in math, and the ways math relates to art and philosophy.  I want to encourage everyone to succeed.

–Dec. 2, 2015–