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Work We Do: Dennis Deerkoski, Mattituck math teacher

Hello, I’m Dennis Deerkoski. I’m a math teacher here at Mattituck High School. 

I’ve been teaching here at Mattituck for about 38 years and, in total, 45 years in this profession.

Mattituck really is a special place for me because I graduated from Mattituck myself back in 1969. I went from kindergarten through 12th and, at that time, the building itself was just the front part of the building and it was kindergarten through 12th grade.

After I went to college, I graduated in 1973 and at that time it was hard getting a teaching job. I had an interview here but I got a job in Baldwin first. I took the job in Baldwin for seven and a half years. They had called me to see if I would like to come back and teach calculus in Mattituck. In the middle of my seventh year, I said yes I would like to come back and so I came back.

I’m glad I taught someplace else other than Mattituck first because I appreciate it out here so much more now. My favorite part of teaching is just working with the students.

I enjoy math and I like bringing it to the students and hope they enjoy it also.

I don’t mind helping them, not only after school but during my free periods, either on my hall duty or my lunch duty. I do have a number of students come in and they ask questions. I say once they understand what’s going on, it makes it easier for them.

Math is not a spectator subject. You have to do the math in order to understand the math.

We all teach five classes. My classes all involve 12th-graders. I do three precalc classes, then a calc class and also an AP calculus class.

People always ask me if I’m going to retire, but I still enjoy what I’m doing and I think the students are still benefiting. It’s not work if you love what you’re doing.

Teaching so many years in Mattituck now, I have students whose parents I’ve also had as students.

It’s like a good home feeling.

“The Work We Do” is a Suffolk Times multimedia project profiling workers on the North Fork. It is made possible by Peconic Landing. See more photos on Instagram @thesuffolktimes.