Natalia Sears sees math as a universal language that’s applicable in real-world situations.

“There’s no reason to be scared of math,” said Sears, a high school math teacher at Dimond. “I just want them to build the confidence in math, rather than just memorize formulas.”

Sears began her career in Russia teaching physics. Once she immigrated to the U.S., she began teaching math at Dimond High School.

“Teaching is one of the most powerful jobs because everyday teachers influence young people, the lives of young people,” Sears said. “I decided this is my passion; I’m going to stay in teaching.”

Her students sing her praises, from her neat handwriting, teaching pace and the fact that she’s always there when they have questions or need to talk.

"I think Mrs. Sears is probably the best teacher in the Anchorage School District,” said Isaac Villeda, a student at Dimond. “She is a hard worker and makes sure everything is organized.”

“She’s my favorite teacher,” said Madison Childers, a student at Dimond. “She gives you the confidence to feel like you can do it.”

Sears has been teaching math at Dimond High School for the past 14 years.

If you have an educator you would like to nominate for teacher of the week, click here.