MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Derek Williamson knows he’s in the right profession.

“I’m kind of a math geek,” he said.

The math teacher at Lincoln Elementary in Anoka gets to play with numbers all day long with people he admits he fits right in with.

“I’m kind of a big kid at heart,” he said.

It starts with his love of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

“These were awesome when I was in elementary school, and they kind of made a comeback,” he said.

Williamson will go to any length to find his inner kid, so he can connect with his kids.

“I really want kids to understand that even if [math] is difficult for them, you can make it fun,” he said.

At school, he’s been duct taped, dunk-tanked and even had his head shaved.

“Shaved my head into a Mohawk and that was actually two months before my wedding, so my wife was really nervous about that,” he said. “Whatever I can do to get kids amped up and excited about learning, and excited to do their best.”

What’s the biggest hit with the kids?

Complete extra credit problems and every Friday they get lunch with the teacher.

“He had Chick-Fil-A and we were eating, and we talked about why we like math so much and just fun stuff,” Olivia Wojtowicz, a student, said.

Williamson says it’s a good way to make kids work to their full potential.

“I look at them like they’re my own children,” he added. “I put my heart into it, so I care a lot.”


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