By Amrhik Sahota

Teacher of the Month - May 2022

Cindy Dooks

School: Rothesay Netherwood School

Role: Maths Teacher

Location: Rothesay, New Brunswick, Canada

Age Groups Taught: 13-15 Years

Q What age groups do you teach and how does your strategy differ?

I teach Grades 8 and 9 maths and my strategies do not differ significantly between the grades. I always try to show students each topic's place in the larger sphere of the subject so they understand the connections between branches of mathematics. I try to use a variety of approaches at each grade level to appeal to the variety of student strengths that exist in my classroom. I try to instil the idea in my students that mathematics is a skill and must be practised regularly to become proficient.

Q How do you use digital resources in your teaching practice?

Courtesy of the global pandemic, I have expanded my use of digital resources, often by creating instructional videos myself. I have however used Mangahigh as a resource in my teaching practice for many years. I have used it as a focused intervention tool, as an opportunity for students looking for an additional challenge, as the AI engine provides recommendations to always push the students in their understanding. I also like to use it as a really fun way to supplement the existing curricula content, especially with the games.

Q What is your favourite part of teaching?

My favourite part of teaching is seeing students gain confidence in the subject. Some students arrive in my classroom with all sorts of preconceived notions about what maths is or is not. Some have the idea that maths is something that you are either good at or not good at and there is nothing that can be done to change that. It can often take the better part of the year to change their mindset, but the payoff is tremendous when, through hard work and determination, a student makes the realisation that they can in fact do maths and be successful.

Q What is your top tip for all teachers?

Don't forget to take some time for yourself every now and then. Teaching can be a profession where you give so much of yourself each day, but it is important to prioritise yourself from time to time. Take up a new hobby, explore some of your own interests, take a class, read a book, do something that is just for you. Schedule it into your days so it actually stays a priority. Doing something for you can invigorate you and give you what you need so you can be your best for your students.

By Amrhik Sahota