Matthew Baccari


Matthew Baccari

Eraser shavings and graph paper lay on top of students’ desks as they solve quadratic equations. Discussion fills the classroom and echoes off the walls into one of the freshman centers’ hallways. A bypasser may misinterpret the chatter as counterproductivity, but Algebra 1 teacher Matthew Baccari places his students into groups of three, so that they can collaborate and work through math problems together. Though many students struggle to understand quadratics, Baccari’s do not, because his practical approach to teaching resonates with his students. Eager ears listen to his explanation of the quadratic formula and how it applies to the real world, and the student’s knowing nods and affirming smiles verify their understanding and remind Baccari of his passion for teaching.

“When I was in college I realized that I liked working with young people and I felt like I was good at it, so I became a teacher,” Baccari said.

As a student, Baccari had an affinity toward math and in college tutored others in Algebra. He pursued teaching and taught in Cypress-Fairbanks ISD for four years and at Mayde Creek Junior High for two years as an Algebra I teacher. He enjoys working with students and helping them understand the importance of mathematics.

“I think that math is one of the most important school subjects,” Baccari said. “It takes a lot of dedication to follow the steps involved in problem solving, and I feel like the aspects of math prepare students for life in general.”

Baccari teaches his classes in an effective way that will allow his students to understand the reasoning behind mathematical concepts and retain them better. Grouping the students is a large component of his classroom because he feels it changes monotony and allows students to learn from each other. He will travel between groups of students in his classroom, ‘spot check’ their classwork, and clarify any questions while they practice solving problems.

“Tompkins is a great atmosphere to teach in and all the teachers are wonderful people to collaborate with,” Baccari said. “I can definitely say Tompkins is one of the best schools I’ve ever worked at.”

Into his seventh year of teaching, Bacarri likes working with his students and Tompkins’ math department. Aside from being a teacher, he has two sons and is an avid musician, skilled on the bass guitar, guitar and piano. Before teaching, Baccari pursued a music career for eleven years with his rock band playing gigs in Los Angeles, and tried to get signed to a major record label.

“I always heard that music and math go hand in hand, right?” he asked.