I had the privilege of being enrolled in Mr. Fiore’s Accelerated Math class for two years in sequence, and this experience has had an immeasurable impact on my education. Mr. Fiore and I had the opportunity to connect and build a relationship over the two years I was in his classes, but due to his personality it only took a few short days before I felt completely comfortable with him. Even as a naïve young adult of middle school age, it is easy to see the passion Mr. Fiore has for teaching and the care he expresses towards his students.
Mr. Fiore shows an amount of dedication to his work that is unparalleled by any other educator I’ve been involved with. During the school year he would be in his classroom roughly 45 minutes early every day and also usually 45 minutes after school in his room for extra help, on top of the countless hours he spent involved with extracurricular activities. It was during these 45 minutes before school that had the largest impact on my education, even though most of the time the discussion content and experiences were hardly math related. Mr. Fiore would show us his favorite kinds of music, talk about his favorite sports teams, and offer advice to the students around. This taught me two things that have changed my life forever. Firstly, that the Red Hot Chili Peppers are one of the best bands to come about, and “The Lord of the Rings” is both a literary and cinematic masterpiece. Secondly, it taught me how to use my interests and passions to relate to others and develop meaningful relationships. These skills have proved to be invaluable in the professional world and I owe it to him for showing this to me.
The aforementioned ideas don’t show how great a teacher Mr. Fiore is, they explain how great a person he is, which in my opinion is the most difficult part of becoming a great teacher. When you take someone that has the personality and character of Mr. Fiore and you couple it with incredible teaching skills, you have created a force to be reckoned with. Over the two years I spent in the Advanced Math class I learned not only to do well on tests and other evaluations, but I learned to understand Math and the underlying concepts. With Mr. Fiore’s insistence on perfection I learned to never settle for less, and to NEVER back down from a challenge, whether personal or academic.
I can say with 100% certainty that I still use many techniques that I learned in his advanced math classes in my studies now, as I am a senior in the Mechanical Engineering program at the University at Buffalo. On top of this course of study I am also a Teaching Assistant for Linear Algebra classes here at the University. It is truly an honor to have been one of Mr. Fiore’s students, and in my opinion it is an opportunity that anyone should try to seize if possible.