Falling in love with ‘math’

By ROXANNE M. CATALAN
UP-Cebu, Masscom-2

MATH. Math. Math. How many percent of Filipino students love Math? I do like it yet not good at it. My Math teacher back in elementary influenced my attitude towards it.

Mr. Eduardo (Sir Eddie) Mier Lumayag, 46, is currently a principal in Bogo Elementary School in Bogo, Argao, Cebu . He admitted that he wasn’t good at Math before. And now, he is known as an effective instructor of the subject.

“My difficulty in Math before entering college was due to the strategies used by my teacher which were lack of emphasis,” he said.
Rechiel, was also one of his students in elementary. For her, Sir Eddie was her first idol. “He tried to explain the lesson in the simplest way in the sense that everyone could understand.”

Really learning got to do with the learners but most importantly to the mentors. “Psychologists have long known that people differ individually in their level of intelligence, and thus in their ability to learn and understand. A person may easily learn skills in some categories but have difficulty learning in others.” (Encarta 2006)

In his 23 years of teaching, Sir Eddie uses strategies fitted to his students such as collaborative work, cooperative learning and putting into actual situation the lesson through visualization. He enumerated some of his techniques in dealing with students who aren’t good at the subject. “Teaching them by role playing, letting them involve in varied activities in the development of the lesson and recognizing their participation in class.”

Since his childhood, Sir Eddie was kind that his teachers entrusted him with school tasks. “During school days, he was the last one to go home because his teachers asked him to help them,” said Matea Mier Lumayag, Sir Eddie’s mother. However, his family was struggling financially due to the fact that his father, Juan Lumayag, got ill that he couldn’t do heavy work. This didn’t hinder Sir Eddie to achieve his dream to become a teacher someday. “Every after school, he sold bundles of wood that we gathered, for him to have fare in going to school,” recalled by his mother.

He passed the scholarship exam in Cebu Normal University (CNU) with Education as a course and Math as a major. He was a consistent Awardee of Excellence in Academic and graduated in the year 1985 as “CUMLAUDE”.

“He was really studious even before,” said his cousin, Russel Lumayag Catalan. Sir Eddie lived in Bagongbayan during his college years in the house of his father’s sister, Manang Pilang. “Even when he did his share in helping Manang Pilang, such as repacking, he had his book beside him,” Catalan added.

From a regular substitute teacher in 1985 to a principal and a part time Instructor I College Evening classes in the present time, he received awards such as Outstanding Teacher, Golden Harvest Award, Awards of Exemplary Performance, Nominee for Metrobank Search for Outstanding Teacher, Outstanding District Subject Specialist and of course Best Mathematics Teacher.

“Before college, my view about Math is difficult. But it’s not good to put in mind that the subject is difficult because the more you learned least if you believe that it’s difficult,” he explained. As of now he views Math as a very interesting subject, easy to analyze and understand moreover very interesting to teach to the pupils even if they are just average and slow learners.

Teaching in the first place is a systematic presentation of facts, ideas, skills, and techniques to students. Math may mean more than what we fear and know. According to philosopher and scientist Roger Monk, for the things of this world cannot be made known without knowledge of mathematics.

It is the students challenge to unveil its importance together with the help of the teachers.

“My goal now is to erase the phobia students have in Mathematics. I have to instruct them to participate in group work activities and encourage them to feel free to ask questions if concepts are not clear. For teachers, they must provide varied activities and provide cooperative learning strategies to make Mathematics more meaningful,” Sir Eddie added.

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