Teacher Spotlight – Erik Bertram

A Symbol of Witty Resilience



Using the ActivePanel, Betram uses the tools necessary to explain Statistical questions for an upcoming quiz.

Angie Moran

This article is a part of a series of Teacher Spotlight articles that highlight educators here at Northbrook High School who strive to improve their classrooms daily.

This week’s light focuses on Erik Bertram, a Statistics and Algebra 2 teacher here at Northbrook. Although he originally planned on pursuing a career in Engineering, he made with what life had thrown at him and resided in getting an Education degree. He decided to teach at NHS because a friend referred him here.

Teaching is often a knack that becomes a way of life, and every educator’s teaching style is altered to their personality. For Bertram, each year of teaching has various learning opportunities that have helped him gain diverse experiences. Bertram says that he is more of a traditional teacher when it comes to classroom management structure.

Through his witty and comical character, he believes that breaking things down for his students and explaining topics is his way of teaching.

“He’s a really patient person, I enjoyed having him last year for Algebra 2,” says Brenda Mejia, Senior at Northbrook High School.

With teaching comes along various challenges. And this can many times be referred to the students. Many students are insecure when math is mentioned. Bertram notices that some students repel math because of a lack of confidence. He says that he likes to make positive relationships with his students and get to know them. Bertram has concluded that his intimate conversations with his students allow him to help further those students who have reluctant attitudes towards math. He makes sure not one student feels excluded from understanding the content of his lessons.

“Bertram pays close attention to all his students, if he sees a student with their head down, he makes sure to go to them and ask them if they understand the concepts,” Mejia said.

Math seems to be thrown under the bus in the real world as people often find it challenging to apply it daily. As a Statistics teacher, Bertram thinks it’s effortless to tie his teaching to the real world because most Statistics teaching content is based on the natural world, making Statistics feel like a beneficial kind of math, even after high school. He juxtaposes this by explaining that Algebra 2 is not very easy to apply to the real world every day but is just as crucial as Statistics.

Every subject is essential and contributes to the understanding of a student’s academic readiness. Although Northbrook is a very diverse school, Bertram perceives AP Stats and Algebra 2 as subjects that directly contribute to the NHS college readiness accountability. It plays a significant role in the highs and lows of the school’s representation of math.

Bertram’s positive outlook as a teacher is proven to be contiguous in his student’s attitudes concerning school. He is a valid symbol of resilience that led to success in both himself and his students.

“He always made sure if the concept was boring, he would make it a point to always try to break down the concept. I appreciated the chances he gave us in class,” Mejia said.