A life-long aspiration

Math teacher shares her wisdom to commemorate her 50th year of teaching at SHS


Kelsey Jones

Math teacher Patricia Blake is doing practice problems with her class. She still enjoys using the traditional math book.

Math teacher Patricia Blake enjoys teaching despite all the change that has happened throughout the years. She knows that she has to be flexible and “go with the flow.”

“If it’s something you enjoy, it’s silly to leave it,” Blake said.

She started teaching math when she was 22 years old in 1971 and decided to become a teacher because she has liked helping people. 50 years later, she still continues to work and teach at SHS. 

She studied math at Butler University. One day, when Blake finished attending one of her classes, sign-up sheets for workplaces were put up. Perry Township was the only available sheet left by the time she got there. Therefore, SHS was the only ever place she had an interview at.

When she was offered a job at SHS, Blake became the first-ever teacher in her family. She grew up in a family deeply involved with mathematics. Her mother excelled in math and both her father and sister are certified public accountants.

Trust has been the main core value Blake has used throughout the 50 years she has worked at SHS, and she recognizes that today’s generation of children is different from what she is used to in the past.

Blake says she is used to receiving more respect from students, but she understands that students are brought up differently. There are some struggles now that students just don’t want to speak of.

She wants to be someone that the students can trust and tries to get to know them on a closer level.

“You have to work on gaining their trust..,” Blake said. “And becoming somebody that they’re comfortable with so that they want to learn from you.”

Freshman Grace Wilson says Blake is a great teacher and communicates well, allowing trust to build in their relationship.

“She makes class as fun as it can be, while still giving us the information,” Wilson said.

Senior Luis Garcia had Blake his sophomore year and says that she is a funny person and has a nice personality.

“She always communicated with her students and always told her her life stories,” Garcia said.

Math teacher Donna Bass knows Blake cares for her students due to the conversations she has with her. She mentioned how Blake spends time with her former students and knows details like what they do for a living and what their kids’ names are.

“She obviously cares and they obviously love her too,” Bass said.

Another obstacle that Blake has faced throughout her years is learning about new technology. She remembers when calculators were not used as much during the beginning of her teaching career. She didn’t even start using a computer in school until 1991.

Fortunately, she has two co-workers that she can rely on, Arthur Miner and Bass, both math teachers. She also learns tips from the students in her classes that help her with technology.

Being her co-worker for 12 years, Miner says Blake is still the same person from back then and does well adjusting to all the changes despite COVID-19, while also gaining knowledge about technology.

“I hope she can teach for as long as she can,” Miner said. “I praise her for being able to do it that long.”

After 50 years of teaching, Blake says obstacles are inevitable. But her passion for her job is strong and plans to do what she loves as long as she can.