Life before teaching Maths at JMC

Friday 24th March 2017

The John McGlashan Maths department is made up of five specialist mathematics teachers. 

We all have several things in common – we are very passionate about maths, highly competitive, a bit OCD in terms of keeping lists and wanting things done in an organised fashion. We also come from a wide variety of backgrounds and have done some interesting things on our journey to McGlashan.

I have taught at a variety of schools: Dunstan High School, St Hilda’s, Southland Girls and Otago Girls. An OE trip after leaving Otago University saw me living in London for nearly three years working at various jobs – including Harrods Ice Cream Parlour, the first MRI scanning clinic in the UK where I was the receptionist, and I was a barmaid in a pub similar to the Rovers Return.

Anne did a maths degree at University and used these skills working for insurance companies. She then did a fashion and textiles degree working in the fashion industry for 20 years as a production and design manager for Ashley Fogel. On shifting to Dunedin, she decided to use her maths degree and retrained as a maths teacher.

Chung-Wei was born in Taiwan. His parents moved to Germany when he was very young – he is a fluent Chinese and German speaker. Initially, he studied engineering but decided to change direction to teaching maths and PE. After teaching in German schools for five years, he and his wife immigrated to NZ.

Adam is the newest member of the department – he lowers the average age of the maths staff by six years. His first teaching position was at James Hargest in Invercargill. He is following the family tradition of working in education as his father was a principal of a primary school in Timaru.

Vocationally speaking, Geoff is in his third life. Having studied that beautiful subject here at Otago University, he lectured in the Maths Department for five years. Then followed nearly 20 years as a pastor in a church on the edge of the university campus. Having spent most of his life amongst tertiary students, he is now a (part-time) member of our department – happily so. Outside of school, once a week he tries to get a hit of tennis with a good mate. He enjoys many ball sports. In addition, as his Year 13 Calculus class knows, he loves classical music – Beethoven 7, for example. 

JMC Maths 2017

As a department, we were very happy with our NCEA and IB 2016 results – there was an increase in the number of Excellence and Merit endorsed mathematics certificates obtained in both the Level 1 and Level 2 courses – mainly due to the introduction of the streamed extension classes at Year 10 and 11.

This year has seen the introduction of a Financial Literacy course into the option structure for Year 10s. It covers topics such as My Pay Packet, Spending and Saving your Money, Consumer Demand, Marketing and Investment. These are all valuable lifetime skills that will hopefully better equip our students for life beyond school.

The school holds Maths tutorials every Wednesday from 3:15 pm -4:15 pm in Room 2. All teachers are available to help boys with any issues they may have encountered in their mathematics classes during the week.

Competition dates for this year:

  • Junior Maths Competition Wednesday 5th April
  • Senior Maths Competition Thursday 11th May
  • ICAS Maths Tuesday 15th August
  • OMAthalon Competition Junior – potentially Tuesday 15th August
    Senior to be advised