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Our teachers are up to the job, says council

Bermuda's mathematics teachers are up to the job, according to a professional council.

Rebeka Sousa, president of the Bermuda Council of Teachers of Mathematics, said that teachers in the public and private sectors had the necessary ability and skills.

Ms Sousa said: “It is here. We have it here. We have the resources, and we have the expertise. It's just about bringing out that expertise and making sure that it is shared across all schools.”

The BCTM was founded in 1988 but lapsed several years ago. Ms Sousa said that she decided to resurrect the group last January after she worked for the Department of Education for five years and saw the need for teacher collaboration.

The Warwick Academy teacher said the group was working to rebuild its ranks and that recent meetings had attracted about 20 people.

Ms Sousa said the group had about 50 people who had expressed an interest, including teachers from both public and private schools, as well as teaching assistants, administrators and principals.

She added: “It's open to anybody who really just has a passion about maths education.”

Ms Sousa said that BCTM's main purpose would be to provide support and resources to teachers.

She added: “We want to obviously bring more awareness to mathematics education.”

Ms Sousa said that she had seen a lack of collaboration between public and private schools during her time working in both systems.

She said the BCTM was “kind of that link to bridge between public school and private school educators — because ultimately we're doing the same thing.

“We all have the same purpose and reason for what we do — let's share some of those ideas.”

Ms Sousa said there was a view in Bermuda that dislike for maths was acceptable, and that “maths was only for certain individuals”.

She added: “We want mathematics to be accessible for all students. We want it to be accessible to everybody.

“Maths is not just for those people who are good at it. It is not just for those people who can do quick sums in their head, and it's not just about arithmetic.

“It's about everything around us.”

The group is interested in looking at new ways to approach maths instruction to tackle poor exam results “instead of just spinning the wheels”.

Ms Sousa explained: “I think it does start in getting a better understanding of what maths is.

“I think what's going to change people's perceptions about mathematics, and how we do mathematics, is seeing that mathematics is an important tool.”

Ms Sousa highlighted Dan Myer, a US maths teacher, and his approach that maths should be looked at as power and not a punishment.

She added: “I think that's a movement that we need to make as a country.”

Anyone interested in learning more about BCTM should e-mail teachmathbda@gmail.com

Adding up resources: a call for unity among those with a passion for maths education

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Published September 22, 2018 at 9:00 am (Updated September 24, 2018 at 10:21 am)

Our teachers are up to the job, says council

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