Math Is Us

I’ve always liked mathematics. I have always found pleasure in solving equations and figuring out the answers to mysterious problems. I had this passion ever since I was a child, and I knew that I was able to pass this passion to others especially that I love working with kids, thus I decided that teaching mathematics is my career. I knew I didn’t want to teach elementary school because I didn’t want to be responsible for teaching all the subjects. Math is what I feel comfortable with, so teaching middle and secondary grades was perfect for me.

            The most challenging part of my job is keeping students engaged and on task which can be, at times, the most difficult part of being a teacher. You have to come up with new ways to engage them and keep them focused on learning, especially at the end of the day when all they can think about is going home. As such, I keep learning about new strategies that make math attractive to students and related to their real life. The most interesting real life application of math that students enjoy is video games, since most students nowadays play video games during their free time.

Math interferes in every detail of our lives; even though most of the times we do not notice that. For instance, once I told my students that smart phones that we use on a daily basis should be called math phones instead. Every application that we use is related to math, for example when using Google maps to reach a destination, this application promotes spatial awareness as well as displaying the shortest distance with the least traffic and the fastest to reach available roads; this process is an optimization problem in math that includes many functions to find their optimal value.

When I made the decision to be a math teacher, I thought my job description was very straight forward. This includes teaching classes, creating lesson plans, and maintaining order. Little did I know, this was far from truth. Teachers are often seen as a “safe place” for students who are having personal and academic problems. I believe it is my job as an educator, rather than just a teacher, to always give a helping hand to my students, to the extent of my capabilities, and then reach out to a person who is more qualified if the situation requires professional guidance. If issues are not dealt with appropriately, a student can start to decline academically and possibly develop severe anxiety and social disorders. Throughout this expectation, I will prove my care and love for every student that walks through my door.

            I think students will enjoy math when they know it is worth and how it’s highly related to almost every activity we do in our daily life. It’s hard to get through a day without using Math in some way, because our world is full of numbers to handle and problems to solve. Studying the Math in everyday life provides you with the tools to make sense of it all, making life a little bit easier to deal with.


Mazen Berjawi:

Teaching is a rewarding process, I teach so I can learn new things.  I graduated from the Lebanese University with a BSc degree in pure mathematics. I am currently pursuing my MSc degree. I work at Al-Hayat International School as MYP Math Teacher and Subject Group Leader.  I have over 11 years of teaching experience, I was a Secondary School Math Teacher in Qatar Ministry of Education from 2009 to 2019, also head of IGCSE department. When I am not in school, I enjoy spending time with my family. I like playing basketball and football.

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