Welcome to the Marine Mammal and wildlife Research and Community Development Expedition blog where you can keep up to date with all the happenings and information from Kenya

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Teaching: Jess conquers her fears

The classroom Jess is teaching in is unlike anything she is used to from England
1998, after I finally passed my maths GCSE after about the 25th retake, I vowed that I would never do any kind of maths ever again. I made a promise to myself that whatever I would end up doing, it would not involve any kinds of numbers. I've stuck to this rule incredibly well, and I've find it remarkably easy.

However, today, I taught my first maths lesson and despite everything, nothing bad happened and my eighteen year old self can relax. English I can handle, I’m pretty comfortable with words, I like writing them, I love reading them and I generally talk a lot of rubbish ones.
When I found out that the next lesson I would be giving would involve division and multiplication mild panic set in. I have a feeling that I was too stubborn to actually learn my times tables properly. I refused to listen to the awful tables tape that was on in the car on the way to school, I decided then that I was probably more of a Kylie and Jason person than a 6x6 is 36 person.
Planning for my English class was a joy; playing with words is fun - but planning for maths took me right back to school and the night before some awful exam. Resignation of failure, mild annoyance that my mates were all out when I was stuck at home revising, and then that feeling you have when you’re not really sure what you’re doing.

Jess doing what she's been trying to avoid for years: answering a maths question 
However I got there in the end and I got to class and I wrote things on the board involving numbers and the children got it. They actually understood what I was talking about and they did the maths. They looked like they were having fun with the awful numbers, I had fun with the awful numbers. I think I understand what prime numbers are now, and guess what – there are some really cool numerical rules that mean you can work out if huge numbers are divisible by six without having to divide them by six. That’s a sentence I never thought I would ever write.

Jessica Lewis – Combination Volunteer