Why I started Tick, Boom!
Recently I had a student ask what my motivation was for starting Tick, Boom! After all, it seems like a lot of effort to work out the answers to other people's math problems for free. It's an interesting and nuanced question that I thought would be worthy of my very first blog post. There are basically two factors that motivated me to start Tick, Boom! One is somewhat driven by self-interest, and the other is about helping others.
On the self-interest front, I'm about to begin the process of becoming an accredited teacher, which means I'll eventually be qualified to teach math in high schools. Whilst I did well at math when I was in school (and I have been required to be fairly numerate ever since), the reality is that it has been about 20 years since I touched the syllabus. So I figured what better way to get sharp on the subject matter than to dive right in and start helping students with the toughest questions they are facing. It's basically a self-imposed (re)baptism of fire.
The other motivating factor is I want to create a platform that will allow me to help students over and above those I meet in the classroom. The beauty of sharing my solutions on YouTube is I get to reach an audience far beyond what I could with face-to-face methods. I believe everyone has the potential to be great at math, but the incremental nature of the content means that as soon as you fall behind it becomes very difficult to catch up. Often those people who claim they aren't good at math have simply missed a crucial lesson. Having an option like Tick, Boom! means that for anyone who has the desire to learn, they can get that little extra help with the bits they are struggling with and ensure they don't get left behind.
And that's pretty much it. I started Tick, Boom! to help myself learn, whilst at the same time helping others learn too. One thing I've realised is that even after two decades, I still get a deep sense of satisfaction from solving a really hard math problem. So I'm confident that becoming a math teacher is the right choice for me.