ACG Strathallan Maths teacher wins prestigious prize

Maths teacher Krista Rabulall has been granted the 2018 Margaret and John Kalman Charitable Trust Mathematics Teaching Prize, awarded through the University of Auckland.

The $10,000 prize recognises the achievements of Auckland secondary school mathematics and statistics teachers in a given year. John Kalman was a Professor of Mathematics at the University of Auckland from 1964 to 1993, and a leading promoter of mathematics in New Zealand.

Mrs Rabulall, an ACG Strathallan foundation staff member who is now in her 18th year teaching maths at the school, has introduced a number of initiatives in the maths department to keep students engaged and passionate about the subject.

These include a mathematics prizegiving; The Right Angle maths magazine; and new ways of teaching, including flipped learning and gamification in junior classes, which have had a significant impact on student results.

“A few years ago I noticed that there was a need to fire up the department,” she explained. “We were so caught up preparing for exams that there didn’t seem to be a lot of excitement about maths. Now we truly celebrate mathematics and success in mathematics.”

One student who contributed a supporting statement to her teacher’s nomination said Mrs Rabulall constantly encouraged students to push their boundaries: “She wants us to ask as many questions as we want no matter how silly they seem. Her answers always completely explain any problem we are having. She makes sure that we understand and are not just nodding our heads.”

Much of Mrs Rabulall’s energy is fuelled by her passion for the subject.

“I love that everything is built on Maths,” she said. “There are so many facets and applications of maths that it truly can take you anywhere. It can amaze you, explain how the world works; it can be beautiful and creative. I hope that’s what my students get when they leave my classroom."

Thursday, November 15, 2018