UP­PER CANADA COL­LEGE

The Kids Post - - Registry of Educators - DEIRDRE TIMUSK CHAIR OF UP­PER SCHOOL MATH DEPART­MENT

Deirdre Timusk has been teach­ing for 20 years, and in those two decades she has had the chance to teach all over the world. “Trav­el­ling has al­ways been an in­ter­est, learn­ing about other cul­tures and about peo­ple around the world,” Timusk says, who spent two years teach­ing at an elite pri­vate school in Medellin, Colom­bia, and then spent four years teach­ing at a pub­lic school in St. Louis, Mis­souri. “I went from a pri­vate school that was fairly elite, to 2,500 kids and two full-time po­lice of­fi­cers.”

In St. Louis, Timusk ob­served other math teach­ers teach­ing by the book – lit­er­ally chap­ter to chap­ter – and saw they were not hav­ing a lot of suc­cess. “That ex­pe­ri­ence taught me to teach kids, not chap­ters. I tried to meet kids where they were and take them on a jour­ney, pro­fes­sion­ally speak­ing. I cov­ered less top­ics, but I made sure they un­der­stood be­fore we moved on. Math is math. It is how you’re de­liv­er­ing it that changes,” Timusk says.

Fa­cil­i­tat­ing con­ver­sa­tion in her class­room is a huge com­po­nent of her teach­ing style, so she greets ev­ery kid within the first three min­utes whether by a home­work check or just a quick hello! She then starts with a non-class ac­tiv­ity, to re­ally get the cre­ative juices flow­ing. “Any­thing that gets them think­ing and talk­ing to one an­other.”

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