What, Or Who, Inspired You To Become A Secondary Mathematics Teacher? 

I was inspired to be a secondary school teacher by two people. First was my GCSE and A level teacher Mr Gamage. He was the only teacher to prove statements to me when I wanted to know how things worked. I remember clear as day angrily storming to his classroom saying I’m not doing differentiation until you tell me why this works. His surprised face turned to a big smile, and he grabbed his whiteboard pen like the flash. Running to the whiteboard and drawing a curve to show me differentiation by first principles. He was so committed to his job that he ate his lunch at his desk in his classroom waiting for students to approach him with questions. I always appreciated him at A level and wished I had treated him better at GCSE.  

Secondly was my project supervisor at university. Christian delivered a number theory course in second year, and I followed his teaching into the third year because I knew I would learn anything he was teaching. It was him that made me think that teaching was a real avenue for me. That I could influence students not at the university level but could do a very good job with A level students.  

As I studied pure mathematics, I can see the beauty of maths that others can’t. Don’t get me wrong its not a skill or talent. It’s simply what gets me. I get a little buzz when something neatly works together. Sometimes I also shiver when there’s too many variables or horrendous notation. Hopefully this will help with explaining trigonometry and other topics that “Will never be used after I leave school.” I look forward to teaching it more like an art than maths. Something to be appreciated. We should spend our time respecting the founders of such easy to comprehend and widely used equations. Instead of critiquing why it is useful to ourselves.  

Thank you, Mr Gamage and Mr Wuthrich, for inspiring me. I would almost say that maths is a philosophy for me now. I hope to show students the same confident and inquisitive nature you found in me. 

By Finn Peronius  


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