Shankar Dayal -Faculty Head, Mathematics Heritage Girls School, Udaipur
Shankar Dayal has been the Faculty Head, Mathematics at Heritage Girls School – Udaipur for the last 2 years teaching Mathematics Cambridge IGCSE, A levels and CBSE curriculum 11th and 12th standard. The boarding school is affiliated to CBSE (New Delhi) and Cambridge International Examinations (UK).
Shankar Dayal says – I have always been passionate about Mathematics during my school and college days and the credit goes to my wonderful teachers who have inculcated in me the love for Maths. Mr Aniruddha Gupta (Lecturer) stimulated love for Math when I was pursuing my Undergraduate degree at KNPG College Raebareli. Dr.Anila Tripathi from DAV College Kanpur identified my way of doing Mathematics and used to verbally commend me for my contributions in the classroom during post-graduation. This appraisal from teachers has attracted me towards this noble profession.
The fear of Math
Performance in Mathematics totally depends on your regular practice and critical thinking. Fear is because of a lack of clarity in concepts. If a student of grade 9 is weak and has fear in Mathematics then surely the student did not understand the concepts of grade 7th and 8th. So, it is very important that learners must be corrected and taught everything at the correct level.If a child has flunked in an examination but still gets promoted to the next level (due to the no- detention policy in some schools), at the next level it becomes a challenging job for the teacher to push such student.
Helping weaker students
It is very important for a teacher to identify the areas where a student is struggling – only then you can provide a remedy. I do one-to-one sessions if children have such problems and monitor the progress. I tell them very clearly that there is no short cut to learn Mathematics so ensure that mistakes are corrected. I give them assignments and projects based on basic Maths skills. I praise them for their right efforts- This motivates them and boosts their confidence.
Tabs or textbooks?
Since I teach senior classes, children require assignments based on critical thinking in chapters like Graphs and functions. I often use online tool like Desmos, Geogebra to explain graphical aspects. Tablets, laptop help sincere children to store assignments, reference books. In a Mathematics lesson, showing videos using projectors and screen does not help always because its difficult to remember concepts just watching them. This is a subject which requires regular practice so I think tablets and computers only help to store study material in convenient way. It does not ensure better learning.
Rather than giving individual projects I prefer to give group projects. Group projects develop team spirit among members, develop skills and pulls everyone’s contribution. This makes them responsible, sensible and prepare them for life.
Girls in STEM fields
Contribution of girls in the field of Mathematics, Engineering and Technology has been low for long. It does not mean that girls are not capable enough to handle these areas.
Girls’ security have always been a matter of concern in our society; this is what pulls them back. Parents want their daughter to look for careers in the areas where Job is available just after college degree. Also, parents plan for daughter’s marriage at their earliest possible. After marriage, some families do not permit girls to continue their studies or work in the areas of their interest. Ultimately girls have to sacrifice their dream.
Gender discrimination also matters in some families where families have a budget for male child not for girl child. Nowadays, thinking of society is changing and girls are equally participating in all areas so we can expect girls’ contribution in Mathematics, Engineering and Technology more in coming years.
Heritage Girls school