Tarka brings empathy into the equation

Lilliana Cerruti

Math teacher of more than twenty years, Rich Tarka has an inherent desire to help young people and genuinely enjoys working with students in the classroom.

Tarka loved his own high school experience where he played football for four years and basketball for two. He had many great experiences as a student athlete, developed lasting friendships and had a lot of success, so he hopes he can help make those dreams come true for Nazareth students, too.

Since August, Tarka has enjoyed teaching Algebra I and Precalculus Honors. He said the faculty and staff have been welcoming and the students have been very cooperative. He adds that the environment at Nazareth is a big draw for him as well. Tarka is dedicated to his teaching and aims to be successful and prepared 100% every day.

Tarka says it’s really rewarding when he sees his students grow, “I feel a sense of accomplishment when students make progress. It’s gratifying to see students who struggle start to become more confident with math and start to succeed and feel like they will be successful in the future with other math classes.” 

What makes Tarka especially empathetic to those students to whom math does not come easy, is the fact that math didn’t alway come easily to him. He said, ”I don’t think [math] was always a strength, so I think that makes me a better teacher so I can sympathize, and empathize with students that struggle.”