Numbers add up for Marian teacher
MYRTLEFORD Marian College teacher Andrea Skahill has been selected as an Australian mathematics teaching champion for her commitment to improving the numeracy skills of students.
Ms Skahill is one of 300 teachers nation-wide that will help transform the teaching of mathematics in Australian schools as part of the reSolve: Maths by Inquiry program.
The Australian Government Department of Education and Training initiative, managed by the Australian Academy of Science in collaboration with the Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers, provides Australian schools in Foundation to Year 10 with resources to help students learn mathematics in an innovative and engaging way.
Executive director of reSolve: Maths by Inquiry, Dr Steve Thornton, said Ms Skahill had been selected because of her dedication to ensuring students have the best possible mathematics education and commitment to sharing knowledge with colleagues.
“We are delighted that so many passionate and committed teachers want to be part of this exciting initiative and are eager to take the work of the reSolve team across Australia now and into the future,” he said.
“In her role as a champion of reSolve Ms Skahill will work with colleagues at Marian College and in the region to trial reSolve resources, conduct professional learning and promote a spirit of inquiry in school maths.”
Ms Skahill said she became a champion because she wanted to improve student engagement and success in maths.
“Students are opting out of higher level VCE mathematics across the country which is adding to the shortage of Australian students choosing STEM based careers,” she said.
“Prior to teaching I was a medical scientist and know firsthand the importance of maths and science.”
ReSolve resources provide a rich learning environment where students work together on tasks that are ‘low floor high ceiling’ enabling all students to experience success.
“Students draw on wider math skills and make connections,” Ms Skahill said.
“These tasks complement the direct instruction and learning tasks that require practicing of skills and application of knowledge.
“The high level of engagement in the classroom is what teaching is all about, when students are engaged they not only learn, but enjoy doing it.”
Marian College principal Cath Watter said the school was looking forward to enhancing greater aca- demic success for students.
“Andrea is an excellent classroom practitioner who has worked tirelessly to implement a ‘flipped classroom’ and online learning, creating individual programmes for junior maths students,” she said.
“Andrea’s work has contributed to some outstanding NAPLAN results in Mathematics at Marian.
“Her passion for teaching makes learning mathematics a rewarding, enjoyable and engaging experience for every child in her class.”