It's nice to remember the past sometimes. I am and always have been, terrible at math. Never enjoyed the classes, never particularly liked the teachers. Then I got Mr. Stewart.
He was a not too tall man with a beard and a balding head. He was known for having built a treehouse in his classroom. I took math with him when he had the treehouse. The one thing I really liked about him was he was interested in all his students.
Once when I couldn't get something, he came over and asked me why. No teacher had ever cared before, just assuming that because I did so well at everything else I just wasn't trying. He explained where I was going wrong and to my surprise, I understood him.
He explained negative numbers thus... you have no money, that's zero, your aunt gives you ten dollars... that's plus ten, she takes twenty... that's negative ten.
I found that when I could picture the math, I could understand it. He also put happy face posters on the wall and bubblehead drawings. Later, he put a boat in his class.
My mother always said everyone comes across one great teacher. I'm not sure that he was my great teacher but he was something special.