Odds and Ends

“The teacher who believes that Math equals love”

Teaching is one of the most important jobs one can do. I also believe that it is very undervalued by society as a whole. [Full disclosure here ~ I taught primary aged children for 30 years!]

So I was delighted to stumble across this website that honours teachers, with a project “50 Great Teachers”. The aim of the project is to find out what makes a great teacher great. There are lots of wonderful, inspiring stories on the site, however I am going to share one of my favourites. I might have chosen it because teaching maths was my very favourite thing to do. I loved how much you could teach with a pack of cards and some dice.

Sarah Hagan teaches Maths at Drumright High School in Drumright, Oklahoma. In the words of the article it is “a faded oil town” of less than 3,000 people. Oklahoma pays its teachers a lot less than next door Arkansas. And yet Sarah is committed to her school and students and loves teaching there. It seems like her teaching is innovative, interesting and engaging ~ just what you want in any teacher, but especially one who teaches Maths to high school kids.

The kids create their own Maths text books, using blank notebooks and a lot of coloured paper, cutting and gluing. The little video in the article shows quite complex algebra explained with pieces of coloured paper. They do Maths speed dating, and play games to help learn complex concepts.

To find out more about Sarah jump to here.

To read about more inspiring teachers, jump to here

Perhaps you would like to tell me about a teacher that inspired you or your child.

[Don’t forget 10% off my art work. Go to AnneLawsonArt and use the coupon code APRIL16. Valid until the end of April.]

By anne54

Botanic artist

4 replies on ““The teacher who believes that Math equals love””

I think that teachers hold our future in their hands. It’s a profession that deserves much higher respect and that should reflect in an appropriate renumeration, quadruple the amount currently received. The role of exciting a young person’s imagination and curiosity and the nurturing of a love of learning is way undervalued in todays $$$$ driven world. I am not a teacher, but I have enormous respect for the profession


I agree with all my heart. While it is not just about the pay, unfortunately the way our world is structured payment = value/respect. It hurts me to see that bankers are paid so much more than teachers, nurses, aged care workers etc. The other aspect is that these jobs have been traditionally seen as women’s jobs and therefore have lower value.


I was a precocious brat and subsequently unfortunate in my teachers… They seemed resentful that I hadn’t needed them to learn to read or do basic arithmetic 🙂 I’m eternally grateful to one particular maths teacher, however. Sister Patsy was extremely efficient at cramming the times tables into the heads of her trembling students, and I can still produce the answer instinctively if asked. I think perhaps I taught myself a fair bit; I’ve always been a big reader, and as we had no TV till I was 14, I felt as if I inhabited a much richer internal world than many of my classmates.


Ha! I was terrible at arithmetic but also can answer the times tables in a flash. Since I became a teacher I realised that there is a big difference between arithmetic and Maths. I was hopeless at the former but quite good with the concepts of the latter. Like you I adored reading. My Mum did a lot more to foster that love than my teachers did.


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