What, Or Who, Inspired You To Become A Maths Teacher? By Nasko Karaganev 

I count myself to be a very fortunate person. I come from a small city of a European developing country. Still, I had a very modest and happy childhood. I have an amazing mother and teachers from grade 1 to 7 (Y3 to Y9 based on the UK system). My mum (also a teacher) taught me discipline and respect to my teachers. Thus, I was following the instructions from my teachers and showed my then abilities. From primary school, Mrs Damyanova identified my strengths in mathematics and kept on challenging me. Voluntarily, she was finding resources to help me improve and build on my strengths. 

Then, it was the most critical point of my life in mathematics – grade 5-7. I do not insinuate that my other teachers are bad, I just happened to have a teacher who raised the bar too high for any other teacher to follow. Mrs Senkova is a person who goes above and beyond for all the pupils. Without a doubt, she is the person who made my little spark in mathematics into a raging fire. True, I have my up and downs in my life. However, it was her that opened the door to see the beauty that mathematics is – the richness of tools and creating an understanding of the world you live in. Like a Michelangelo, she was a master craftsman that could polish anyone willing to let her do her work. Out of her own time, Mrs Senkova was organising Mathematical clubs for the higher achievers and supplement lessons for the lower ones. She was finding, registering and organising trips for all the different mathematical competitions she could find from city to regional and even nationwide ones. You can imagine the time and effort that this can take – the amount of legislation, admin work, etc. Just to give you a number – I used to be doing at least 10 competitions each year. 

My university years were a darker time of life going through multiple health issues. However, as a part-time job I did tutoring. Thank God! It re-ignited my passion in mathematics and the fulfilment you get from helping people see the enchantment mathematics is. So, yes. Out of sheer passion and respect to Mrs Senkova, my mother and all other teacher I had, I am taking my first steps into becoming a teacher. I will keep going because I love the subject, I want to continuously grow and, finally but not least importantly, to keep the legacy my teachers have left/are leaving. 

I would like to acknowledge all my teachers/mentors I had/have and not just in mathematics. Thank you for your patience and support. You have made me what I am today. 

By Nasko Karaganev 



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