As a young African American male attending Seattle Public Schools, Norman Alston knew firsthand what it meant to struggle with learning mathematics. Throughout his childhood he felt humiliated, and was treated harshly by the education system and ultimately was labeled as ‘slow’ and incapable of doing mathematics in third grade. Once he reached High School, he was told that he was not able to do algebra. In college, a professor told him that he would never graduate because he could never pass algebra or trigonometry.
“Thankfully, however, I never believed any of those teachers” recalls Norman, “I knew that the way they were teaching did not work with how I learned.”
Norman worked hard to graduate from college, and began teaching elementary school children in the Greater Seattle Area. His personal struggles learning math combined with the positive response from students, parents and educators around his unconventional approach to teaching inspired him to create the eMode Learning Foundation, a 501c(3) organization.
The eMode style of teaching closes the achievement gap, reduces fear of math, builds confidence and provides outstanding mathematics enrichment opportunities for under-served youth grades K-8 in Southeast Seattle. This program gives youth learning experiences that are meaningful, understandable and enjoyable.