“I love that everything is built on Maths… 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.”
Krista Rabulall, Faculty Coordinator Mathematics, has been granted the 2018 Margaret and John Kalman Charitable Trust Mathematics Teaching Prize, awarded through the University of Auckland.
Mrs Rabulall, an ACG Strathallan foundation staff member who is now in her 18th year teaching Maths at ACG Strathallan, has introduced initiatives in the Maths department to keep students engaged and passionate about the subject.
These include Mathematics prizegiving; The Right Angle magazine; and opportunities for students to give service to the Maths department through workshops and tutorials.
“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.”
She got thinking about what could be done.
“There was an end-of-year school prizegiving and sport prizegiving, but what about the students achieving highly in maths? I know of no other school which hosts a Mathematics prizegiving and no other school where there is a mathematical magazine produced regularly by students. Now we truly celebrate mathematics and success in mathematics.”
Mrs Rabulall has also introduced new ways of teaching into the classroom, including flipped learning, which had a significant impact on student results, and gamification in junior classes.
One of her students contributed to her nomination, saying she constantly encouraged students to push their boundaries and work on difficult questions.
“She pushes us to ask as many questions as we want no matter how silly they may seem and her answers always completely explain any problem we are having. And she makes sure that we do 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.”