# “Math is not a subject, it is a practical way of life.”

Meet Harini, Math teacher, K. C. Thackeray Vidya Niketan (India).

#### Hi, Harini, can you introduce yourself?

I started my journey as an engineer, but
**
since I had a strong passion for teaching and I wanted to get the fear
out of maths
**
I eventually have a master in Education and became a teacher. At first, I
was associated with Akanksha Foundation
in an after-school program for three years and then I joined K. C.
Thackeray Vidya Niketan in Pune.

#### Can you describe an hour of class ?

I always start with a
“Do Now”
(a warm up activity students achieve quickly in the beginning of the class)
activity about mistakes, misconceptions. I tell my students: “I made a
mistake, can you help me finding it ?” It is an open forum, everyone makes
mistake, even teachers. Then, when I introduce a new subject, I make sure
we start with an activity. And we close it with: « How it was linked to
everyday life? ».
*
It is important for me to make students understand that we all make
mistakes and that we shouldn’t be afraid of it.
*

#### What did you learn teaching here?

*
Students are my teacher, if they don’t understand something, it
means that I have to learn it in a different way and find other
paths to teach it
*
. I address the need of the students. For some of my students, there are
too many concepts in maths so

*. For example, when we had to learn about angles, I made them do origami and they understood very well what was a right, obtuse or acute angle. Another example : they created beautiful artworks to remember trigonometric formulas.*

**I always try to link it to daily life or personal skills. Because math is not a subject, it is a practical way of life**I’m always trying to find new ways to introduce knowledge. And sometimes, explaining a concept doesn’t work and students have to memorize some concepts. So how do they learn better ? Internet is full of ideas and I always think that if my students are struggling, many students around the world might have struggled likewise, so there might be a teacher somewhere who found a solution.

#### Can you share with us some tricks that really helped your students?

In trigonometry, my students were struggling with remembering the
trigonometry values. So I explored it quite a bit and I found out the “
Left Hand Trigonometry
” : a trick to find the values needed. It was very useful and everyone got
it: everything was in the hand! I present it on
STIR
(aims to reignite the spark in teachers) and I got an award for that. (You
can see a video about this practice
here
.)

I created a “Math Lab Program ». This program is just about having fun with
math.
*
It is not related to the curriculum but children are encouraged to
explore math concepts differently, with fun activities
*
. For example, to learn about the HCN (Higher Common Number), they do it
through paper cutting. (You can see this activity
here
.)

#### Can you tell us about a great moment you had teaching?

Two years ago, students were helping for our school’s 10th anniversary and
they were arranging chairs and suddenly
*
they realized that they were using math in their daily life. They
linked it and it was very beautiful !
*

#### Can you illustrate teaching with an image?

* I would say a fish in water!*
I mean teaching is my whole life, I look forward to each moment of
teaching. It motivates me every single day.