Educator of the Week: Michael Adams

It’s time to recognize this week’s Educator of the Week, brought to you by the Tennessee Education Lottery.

Educator Of The Week Michael Adams

Michael Adams says the challenge of teaching harder math classes interested him in teaching. But he soon realized there is something that brings much more joy to the profession.

“I felt at the time, early in my career, that I wanted to teach those harder math courses. And over time, I realized the joy of teaching is not the math or the subject you’re teaching, but the students you’re teaching,” Adams said.

Adams’ view of teaching is focused more on visual learning than memorization, and that helps to build those skill sets and allow students to fully understand the difficult subject.

“Today we’re doing graphing and seeing where midpoints show up in geometry, and showing them conceptually what that looks like makes a big difference compared to just showing them a set of formulas,” Adams said.

Adams says he is often asked the question, “Where am I going to use this?” by his students at Peabody High School. And he often replies it’s better to be prepared for the future because you aren’t sure what will come.

“I’d rather give you those skills and leave those doors open for opportunities rather than denying those skills now and saying I’m not going to need this later. I don’t want students to leave with their hands tied already. I want them to have limitless opportunities,” Adams said.

Having multiple skill sets may bring you many opportunities for success, but success is a gradual progress that happens both in and outside of the classroom. And Adams hopes to see that in his students later in life.

“Success is making progress. I think all through life we see that. Even as a teacher, I’m in my 25th year of teaching and I still know that there’s so much more to improve upon,”

Adams is now eligible for the Tennessee Education Lottery Educator of the Month award.

To vote for her or any other nominees, go to the Tennessee Education Lottery website.

To nominate an educator for our weekly award, just email us at

Categories: Educator of the Week, Video