Since arriving at Fintona almost two years ago teaching Year 7 – 11 Mathematics, Angela inspires her students to enjoy Maths by helping them develop faith in their own ability. However there is more to Angela than algebra, geometry and equations. Previously, she taught a combination of Mathematics and Physical Education at secondary school level and held the position of Head of Sport for eight years. She is a passionate exponent of girls only education having taught in an all girls’ school environment for over 24 years. She is currently a Year 7 Tutor in the Middle School.
As a new teacher to Fintona, what was your first impression of the School?
At first it is the gardens that draw you in – they are really beautiful and make an excellent first impression. I like the size of the School – it has a real sense of community and enables staff to truly know each other as well as each student. The small class sizes mean that I can give greater time to each girl and more easily cater for individual needs. While Fintona is a non-denominational School I see it as being a multi-denominational and multi-cultural School. I enjoy this aspect as I believe that it is a better reflection of today’s society. It is a melting pot of cultures and with diversity there comes a better understanding and tolerance of others.
What is the best thing about being a teacher?
The students. They teach me something new every day and always make me laugh. I love their ‘can do’ attitude and enthusiasm for learning. Students, especially those in the Middle School, tend not to be sceptical or cynical and are ready to change ‘the world’. They have many ‘aahhaa’ moments when learning something new.
How do you make Mathematics fun for the girls?
I try to inspire students by working closely with them and affirming to them that they can solve mathematical problems. By building faith in themselves, the students then develop a positive attitude towards Mathematics and want to learn. Sometimes Mathematics is fun while other times it takes sheer hard work on the students’ behalf. It is important to balance the two. It is often the dynamics present within a class that makes it fun. Teaching requires a good deal of flexibility – I have never met two students who respond the same way to new information.
Since starting at Fintona I have been a Tutor at Year 7. Last year my Tutor Group and I learnt about Fintona together. It is really important to me to make an effort to get to know the whole student as a lot of ‘teaching’ is done outside of the classroom. I am really proud of any student who tries to be the best person that they can be. I try to help and encourage each student to: identify their talents, be accepting of individual differences and improve their resilience.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I am very close to my family; I am one of six girls and I have eleven nieces and nephews. There is always someone to support or something to celebrate. I also enjoy travelling overseas and am currently studying Italian. Santa bought me a bicycle for Christmas and I try to cycle every weekend. Reading is another hobby that I enjoy.