Giving More Choices Through Math

Ms. Ruth Joy Magno, 4th from left, with some of the 4th year & 3rd year BSEd Math Majors.

          "I want to help give people more choices." --  Ruth Joy E. Magno.

          She made a lot of sense!  By helping students learn and love Math you open doors and more options.  You broaden their field of choices.  She said she loves teaching Math because she doesn't want young people simply picking courses because they had no other choice.  They're poor in Math so they have limited options in college and in life.   More choices means more chances for a better future for them and for our country.

Help build their confidence.

          Our community college just produced the first graduates of BS Education majoring in Math.  I wanted to help this handful of graduates but  Math isn't one of the fields I'm particularly good.  I teach mostly Social Science and English subjects.  How can I help this pioneering batch of Math majors in the community college?

           As I've written in Carving the Future in Community Colleges  I want to help bring first rate education to a poor and remote municipality.

         My wife and I remembered the perfect person who could help  -- Ruth Joy!  She graduated from UP, ranked 9th in the 2014 licensure exams for teachers, is currently teaching junior high school and coaches Math students at the Ateneo in Manila.  We also knew she  wants to help students in public schools.

Ruth Joy E. Magno in blue, off-center, with  Math, Filipino and English majors.

          So after we obtained the support of the community college's Student Affairs Office, the Dean, and the President, Ruth Joy Magno arrived in April for a 3-day review class.  She was just discharged from the hospital due to Dengue a few days before flying from Manila but she gave us all she had.

          And was she an excellent Math teacher and reviewer!

            Our students, the recent graduates, 3rd year Math majors, and a few elementary education students learned so many new ways of understanding and teaching Math.   That should be enough to help them hurdle the licensure examinations and be more effective Math teachers in the future.

          I intended to sit at the back checking my own students' papers.  I barely touched the stack of papers.  The minute RJoy started teaching Math, I was hooked and realized how much I would have loved Math had I a teacher like her when I was in high school!  Maybe I wouldn't have had desperate semesters in college groping with Algebra and Calculus.  Or maybe I would even have picked a Math-related or Math-based degree.  After all, one of my dreams then was to become an Astronaut.  But getting high on zero gravity in space requires Math.

All the students were so attentive and taking down notes. 

          On the last day of the review, some of the graduating students from other education majors also heard her give tips on taking the licensure exams.  I was also in awe as I heard Ruth Joy emphasizing the importance of general education.  How many Math teachers who genuinely encourage Math students to see the value of reading and other non-Math subjects.  How many Math teachers actually see themselves as agents of national development?   How many Math teachers, or any teacher for that matter, are able to connect with the hearts of their students?  How many Math teachers see their potential in molding the lives of generations of responsible Filipinos?

          Ma'am Ruth Joy Magno, thank you for helping our students by sacrificing your time, energy, and talent for our students.

          We thank God for giving us the privilege of knowing such a great person as you.  Sobrang saludo kami sa iyo! 

Graduating Math majors presenting our token of appreciation 

With some of the Math majors

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