The social civility truly hinges on education. Teacher as a role model who can institute change and bring an authentic learning experience into the new frontiers in teaching. It takes teachers to inspire a multitude of young minds and it takes only few mentors to inspire other colleagues to be role models in this field.
Substitute teacher in a former Chinese school. I gave brought forth inspiration for me to stimulate my students’ perception towards mathematics. Spent two years teaching trigonometry, advanced algebra, and analytic geometry in the said school.
After I received my BS Math degree in college, I decided to end my job as a part time teacher and instead concentrate to my new found career as assistant manager to our own chemical business.
In my reflective moments, I entertained a thought of pursuing my teaching career but I would really deny my personal plan to work as a statistician or actuarial clerk. I started to hunt a job that would commensurate my degree course. I was not successful in my search until the end of July I felt God’s hands directing me towards His plan.
He guided me to go back to the teaching world because it was not only a job but also a vocation. I needed to be there and I should be here. In a similar experience my former college professor, who went to the United States for a scholarship grant, recommended me to handle his teaching load; and the chairperson of the Mathematics Department of my Alma Mater approved his request.
This will be my world now and if God directs me to be in this vocation, so be it”. As a substitute math instructor, I was assigned to handle major courses to junior and senior students.
My knowledge and mastery of major courses improved, strengthened and became extensive because I totally devoted my time in research and reading new methods and strategies that could change the perspective of my students. From then on, I inculcated my students’ minds that learning mathematics was fun and not a threat.
The basic background or foundation of the students in mathematics was very weak. I took that as a challenge and my paramount concern was to improve the learning levels of my students. My initial step was to conduct free tutorial classes and upgrade the desire of the students to love mathematics. The phrase kept on reminding me that I should always carry the zeal of “ Math Teacher with a Heart. ”
Teachers in the basic education must play a very important role to prepare their students to a higher level of education. Moreover, they must develop and teach their students by heart the needed basic mathematical skills.
I met my former boss in a restaurant and invited me to teach trigonometry and geometry to high school students. She was saddened and discouraged with the quality of teachers they had especially in the area of mathematics. She believed that mathematics was deteriorating and retrogressing because they did not have competent and good math teachers.
I accepted the opportunity to work in a part time basis. Why did I accept the job? Just a very simple reason, I wanted to help and improve the mathematics curriculum in the secondary level and develop the skills of the students by heart. In addition to this, I also would like the high school students to realize that mathematics makes a wonder.
I have encountered and overcome hardships in improving the mathematics curriculum. Though the task was difficult but the reward was very comforting. My total dedication and surrender to my vocation as a teacher, trainer, and administrator fortify my courage to endure every obstacle.
I really experienced great pains in introducing numerous changes and improvements to make math education much more appealing and challenging to both educators and students and I do believe that this is just a part of a paradigm shift.
As the president of the Mathematics Trainers’ Guild, my primary task now is to improve and provide quality education and open training among our mathematics teachers and students. Numerous competitions from the district, division, regional even up to the national level, have been organized by the DepEd, DOST and by various NGOs, all of them aimed to increase Filipino students’ interest and involvement in math, and to strengthen and sharpen their mathematical knowledge and skills.
The aim of math competitions is to arouse student’s interest in mathematics and to help them to study mathematics. Likewise, the teachers could improve themselves if they are really sincere in training their students. Good math teachers possess a capacity to connectedness. They are able to weave a complex web of connections among themselves, their subjects, and their students so that students can weave a world for themselves.
Math competition is a kind of activity to popularize mathematics. It is only on the basis of raising the standard of the majority that the emergence of exceptionally bright students can be guaranteed year after year. Math competition should not be an assessment and a comparison of standards in mathematics. It should also play an important role in providing opportunities for the majority to demonstrate their standards and for the bright ones to improve continuously their competence and proficiency.
With the innovations brought by the advancement in science and technology, thereby the role and impact of mathematics to society become more evident. Mathematics becomes more inevitable in the sense that progress largely depends on numerical precision.
Philippine math education therefore cannot afford to remain stagnant to its traditional methods; it cannot remain aloof and independent nor indifferent with global trends; on the contrary, it must strive to be attuned with the call of the times.
Participation in international math competitions gives students and teachers alike the opportunity to exchange mathematics’ pieces of information with the rest of the world, to get ample opportunities to further develop their creative, analytic and critical thinking abilities, to show excellence in the field and to act as the bridges to share and gain insights with the rest of their Filipino colleagues, which will consequently, and more importantly, aid in the reformation of math teaching and math teachers.
The MTG is challenged and prompted to join international math competitions. This challenge serves as the stimulus in the discovery of mathematically gifted students.
Achievements in mathematics competition are generally accepted as an indicator of students’ intelligence. For our product, much prestigious science oriented high schools or universities give preference in admission to awardees in mathematics competitions.
Joining international math competition keeps Philippine math education attuned/abreast and aware with the latest math trends and strategies thereby proving to the world at large, that Philippine education in general, is ever ready to face the call for global competitiveness and excellence.
With this realization, the MTG is more challenged and inspired to continuously train the gifted ones and to harness all their potentials to the fullest.
“We are very much fortunate because we are given life to enjoy, but we must always put in our minds, that many are called but few are chosen and those who dare to teach must never cease to learn.”
Dr. Simon L. Chua