Calves, math, and kids – The dedication of Mr. Urdahl (with video)
Carlton Urdahl’s eyes light up when a student finally makes a breakthrough in his calculus class. Whether he’s jumping with joy or slapping his Expo marker into his hand, Urdahl has spent 49 years of his life teaching kids how to solve quadratic equations and inequalities.
Although he could have retired years ago, Urdahl returns each year for the love of what he does and the people that surround him on a daily basis.
“I never tire of it,” said Urdahl. “Seeing kids learn from what I’ve taught makes me a happy guy. I love teaching here at BHS.”
Story continues after the video.
Urdahl wakes up at three in the morning, every weekday. He first waters, feeds, and beds his cows and calves. After doing the early day chores around home he showers and heads over to Perkins where he eats his breakfast and sips on a cup of coffee while grading papers or just simply doing math problems. By seven A.M. Urdahl gets to his classroom, C-107, and prepares for his day of teaching students.
“He lives math, and wants people to get the same excitement he gets out of it,” said former student and English teacher Ryan McCallum. “I recognize the feeling he got when he was teaching, I get the same feeling as a teacher now.”
Urdahl has spent the last 30 years of his career at our school. On a daily basis he shows up to class with the same enthusiastic outlook as the weeks and years before.
“I couldn’t teach if I didn’t enjoy it,” said Urdahl. “I think the quality of students I’ve had over the past years is a part of the reason I’ve kept going. They’ve worked hard and shown success in what they’ve done.”
Many students as well as current teachers view him as a role model. Some have grown to know him as a kind and caring person.
“He is a mentor to me, and I look up to him because he is extremely kind, compassionate and intelligent,” said math teacher Emily Greeley, “I admire the fact that he has taught for so long and still loves it.”
Story by Kyle Cole
Video by Samantha Sansevere and Blair Solberg
Well done interview with Mr. Urdahl. I had no idea he had a farm of calves and cows. He has a peace about him and you successfully brought that out of him. He is an interesting person and relies on his faith which makes him a humble man.