New Teacher / New Student

Big changes in Zaakistan. After 7 years at Bearspaw Christian School I have left to teach at Calgary Christian School. At the same time, 15 years after graduating with my bachelors degrees, I am entering graduate school through a distance learning program through the University of Waterloo.

Calgary Christian School offers many benefits over BCS. It belongs to a public school board for one which means I will be earning the same as public school teachers (approximately 20% more than at BCS). Better health benefits and a pension fund and a human resources department. Beyond these, I think CCS is a better fit for me and my desire to have more open and healthy conversations with students regarding Christianity, science, homosexuality, politics, etc. without the risk of offending my superiors (and thereby losing my job).

My experience at CCS so far, one prep week and one with students, has been very encouraging. Both staff and students have been wonderful and supportive. My new assignment is four sections of math which I’ve taught many times, grade 11 and 12 physics (new courses for me), and grade 8 and 9 Spanish. My classroom is in the basement, so no windows. There is a sense that all kinds of chaos could be happening outside and we would be held safe, so it is very conducive to focusing on learning. Plus, many of the secondary staff meet for choir practice* after school on Fridays.

The Masters of Mathematics for Teachers Degree at the University of Waterloo is

designed to provide current teachers of mathematics with the opportunity to expand their knowledge base. In addition to providing a deeper understanding of mathematical foundations relating to core secondary school curricula, students will also be exposed to areas of applications of modern mathematics. The primary focus of the program is on mathematics and its applications rather than on pedagogy, but it will also challenge its students to look for new and innovative ways in which they can bring their newfound knowledge into the classroom. (

This suits me perfectly. I only earned a minor in mathematics when I got my B.A and B.Ed. so I crave a deeper understanding beyond the high school math that I now know inside and out. The program can be completed in between 2-5 years. I will try and finish in four years. I begin my first of two half courses this semester on September 14th. My program will involve:

  • Introduction to Mathematical Software for Teachers (0.25)
  • Reading, Writing and Discovering Proofs (0.25)
  • Master of Mathematics for Teachers Capstone (0.50)

and a choice of seven (or 3.5 credits) of the following:

  • Foundations of Probability (0.50)
  • Statistics for Teachers (0.50)
  • Linear Algebra for Teachers (0.50)
  • Number Theory for Teachers (0.50)
  • Algorithm Design and Analysis (0.25)
  • Introduction to Computer Science: A Mathematical Perspective (0.50)
  • Theory of Computation (0.50)
  • Foundations of Calculus I (0.50)
  • Foundations of Calculus II (0.50)
  • Mathematical Modeling with Differential Equations (0.50)
  • Explorations in Geometry (0.50)
  • Problem Solving and Proof in Geometry (0.50)
  • Special Topics in Mathematical Connections (0.25)
  • History of Mathematics (0.50)
  • Problem Solving and Mathematical Discovery (0.50)
  • Summer Conference for Teachers of Mathematics (0.25)
  • Reading Course in Mathematics for Teachers (0.25)

I’ve italicized the ones that interest me most.


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