Surveys show math is the most dreaded subject in school.
But in the Comal Independent School District, Andrew Rodriguez has the formula for turning that fear into fun.
Rodriguez teaches Algebra and Algebra I to eighth-graders at Mountain Valley Middle School. This is his fifth year in he classroom and every year he turns negative attitudes into positive ones.
"It used to be my least favorite subject, now it's my favorite subject because of him," eighth-grader Tammy Thompson said.
"All growing up, I had great experiences in school and I wanted to give that back to kids," Rodriguez said.
Whether he's encouraging his eighth-graders to wear hats in support of drug free week or teaching them equations, he strives to make the sum of his class lifelong success.
"Sometimes kids come from not so great situations at home so I try to make my classroom an environment that's welcoming, that's safe for them to be vulnerable and to make mistakes and also not be made fun of when they make mistakes," Rodriguez said. "I want them to grow in that.
"I hope they turn into problem solvers. I hope they are able to use their common sense in a lot of things. That's why we do so much collaborative work because that's what we do in real life," he said. "In the real world you work with other people so it's important to be able to do that build relationships."
"He makes it really fun to be in this class," said eighth-grader Reagan Mickey.
Despite the variables, Rodriguez aims for this constant.
"More than any educational stand point, I want them to have enjoyed a good experience. My goal is they learn something about life in here and they can take that on their road to high school," Rodriguez said.