Monday, October 12, 2009


All this time, I've been wandering a lot. I am now working with an NGO on an English training project for the Kilimanjaro porters from rural areas. There's been too many turning points and dangerous curves on the road to mention all of them but it seems that teaching is going to be part of my life for quite some time. I'm glad I made this decision, of course guided by fate.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

English camp

I am off for three days on an English camp. All my kids, 6 classes of them, are going to be there. It will be a challenge to keep up my responsible teacher's role while being around them constantly. I am such a kid myself! I easily get carried away, especially if I am not focused on getting my message across in the classroom. The year is soon coming to an end and I already know that I am going to miss them. We literally spend our lives with these little ones. The foreign teacher's staff room is the heart of the building. All the kids gravitate around our office, come to finish off some work on the free desktop, jump in for a chat at the break, or ask for information about exchange programmes.
Today was teacher's day. One of my classes gave me a flower along with a picture of them lot. I almost cried of emotion.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Descartes mania

My grade 7 students are starting to explore with coordinates, finding the distance between two points or the coordinates of the midpoint of a line segment for example. I made a point of introducing them to my French hero of the month, Mr Rene Descartes. None of them had ever heard his name before and I think they enjoyed the ride over to the 17th century. They love to see what all these mathematicians we refer to looked like in those days. I could hardly retain my hilarity hearing their comments.

'He looks so bored, writing books all day long!'

'But, but, but...he's old! And he has long hair!'

'Oooh, so that's Mr Rene. I wish he hadn't spent so much time thinking and writing. Then we wouldn't have to learn about coordinates!'

On a more serious note, we are soon going to move on to:
* Linear equations: introduction to algebra (grade 7)
* Linear equations II: y=mx+p and all you can derive from that ;) (grade 8)
* Angle properties of circles (grade 9)

If you have any experiences to share about these topics, feel free to comment. I am quite keen on improving my lessons.

Mathematically yours,


Saturday, January 10, 2009


It's Sunday morning. I am at home, sipping a cup of espresso and scratching my head over my exams. My students exams, that is. I was informed on Friday afternoon that my 3 final exams are due on Monday in the form of 40 multiple choice questions each. Gloops.

Since I always aspire to sprinkle sticky stars over their little heads, I am preparing such problems:

"In your drawer, there are 3 pairs of white socks, 5 pairs of blue socks and 1 pair of yellow socks. If you pick two socks out of the drawer (one after the other without replacing the first one), what is the probability of getting two matching socks?"

Enjoy your weekend, fellow maths heads :) Share the love!


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Back on track

I have abandoned blogging about maths, distracted by a myriad of other things in my life but I happened to miss it I am. Back and smiling, enthusiastic about life and its vicissitudes. I was reflecting on today's teaching and the first thing I meant to share was the great solidarity among my grade 7 students. They tend to organise themselves in spontaneous little groups, help each other out and almost work as an self-regulated unit. I wonder how much I've contributed to this state of affairs (encouraging better students to explain the work to their mates) but I was quite pleased to see it functioning today.

Cheers for my little ones :)