The dread quietly lurking in the back of the minds of School District 2 high school students officially sets in when classes resume in January.
With the new year comes their end-of-semester finals. For algebra students in a flop sweat and losing sleep worried about their upcoming test, David Snow says don't despair. There's hope.
Snow, an assistant professor of mathematics education at Montana State University Billings, has organized an algebra finals cram session on Jan. 4 for any struggling high schoolers.
Snow's students are studying to be math teachers, and with Snow they formed the Math Education Group, a college club devoted to preparing MSUB graduates to be exceptional teachers and eventual leaders in their schools.
The free cram session they have planned gives his math education students a chance to teach arithmetic in the real world. They'll be in charge of helping crowds of struggling high schoolers understand complicated math concepts.
"It's really a brutal way to teach math," Snow said. "It'll be great."
Adam Daviau, a senior in the math education program and treasurer of the Math Education Group, is looking forward to the experience.
"It's going to be beneficial to everyone," he said.
Daviau is a West High graduate, and his mother is a longtime SD2 math teacher. He says teaching math is in the blood. The new club gives him the chance to refine his teaching skills and the cram session will give him great experience.
"I'm hoping this is one more step I can take to get me a better job," he said.
He's hopeful that the high school students who attend will actively participate and learn the concepts thoroughly enough that they'll stick. He wants them to leave confident in their ability to do math.
"I enjoy seeing people succeed," he said.
The club is hoping events like this will help create more connections with SD2 and that the district will feel more comfortable tapping into MSUB resources.
Snow is proud of the work his students have done.
"They did a lot of preparing," he said.
Originally it was planned as a fundraiser for the club to help members get to a math education conference in Denver later this year. However, registration was slow, so the club decided to open it to everyone free of charge.
Snow said it was better that way. The club can find another way to raise money to get to the Denver conference.