Creative maths teacher feted with excellence award

A Tennant Creek High School maths teacher has won a CHOOSEMATHS Teacher Excellence Award .

Fiona McRobie is one of seven teachers who received the national honour for their capacity to engage and inspire students using innovative practices, or for providing support as a mentor.

“I’ve tried to build hands-on activities into the maths classroom, which engages students in ways they’re maybe not used to in maths,” she said.

“Since teaching my students I’ve observed an increasingly positive attitude towards maths, maths lessons and learning maths. I think it’s because I have deepened my relationships with them, making them more invested in maths lessons, and I make maths more relevant and meaningful to them.”

The maths educator was nominated by principal Maisie Floyd for satisfying a range of criteria, including excellence as a role model, constructive feedback to students, encouraging the ongoing involvement of girls in mathematics, and contributing to the Teaching Practice Group — offering professional development to teachers.

Ms McRobie said: “One of the ways I have improved maths teaching is by developing an oral diagnostic interview to work out students’ maths understanding, independent of their literacy levels.

“This has proven particularly useful for Indigenous students who often speak English as an additional language or dialect. I’ve then designed a numeracy intervention program that meets students where they’re at, based on the diagnostic test. It’s in its infancy, but we’ve seen growth for the students who are participating in the program.​”

The award came with a $1000 personal and school prize purse.

Last updated: 19 September 2018