Hello! My name is Ferris Akrabawi and I'm your middle school math teacher! I am so happy and excited being a part of our Jahn family! Here is a little bit about me:
I hope you find my classes informative and fun. I was born in DeKalb, Illinois, but ended up living back and forth between there, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia until 8th grade. I graduated from North Central College in Naperville, where I majored in business with a minor in psychology. I kept myself very busy as a member of the football team and the indoor and outdoor track teams for all four years. Playing defense and tackling people was kind of my favorite thing in the world for a long time. My specialty in track? Well, I didn't have one. I was a decathlete. I always cherish the experiences I had as a student athlete. Being part of a team has shaped me into the person I am today.
I moved to Chicago after college, and in 2002 I earned a masters degree to pursue my passion for teaching and learning. I have been a teacher in Chicago ever since! I love to learn and I love to geek out about math. I can't help it! I've learned from the best, completing coursework at the University of Chicago's SESAME program and then by extending my qualifications through the Chicago Algebra Initiative program, a series of graduate courses and a qualification exam that allows me to teach high school algebra to 8th graders. Algebra classes are the best!
As for my personal life, I've lived in the 60657 zip code ever since moving to Chicago in 1997. I enjoy paddle-boarding on the lake, reading non-fiction, and making over-budget-over-engineered improvements to our little condo. I prefer Rush over Led Zeppelin and Star Trek over Star Wars. I'm serious about good grammar but I can't spell.
We have an awesome family with our amazing daughter, Malia. She's a hockey player and tough on defense. A chip off the old block! My wife, Poppy, is the most supportive person in the world. Back in the spring of 2017, she realized a dream held by so many middle-schoolers throughout the world: her middle school was swallowed up by a volcano! No one was injured. I guess that's Hawaii's version of a snow-day?
Writing your own bio can be really awkward, but this next part is super easy for me. I want everyone to know that my mission is to make you love math as much as I do. I don't think it should be that hard to do because, let's face it, math is everywhere. It's in the music we all love to listen to, the art we love to look at, and the bridges we need to travel on. We like our bridges thoughtfully engineered using math, right? Anyway, I can't wait to get started. Let's have a great school year!