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We want our community to get to know our staff better, so we’ll be running a series of articles to introduce them. Our first profile is of Mathematics teacher, Warren Beckwith, from our Glen Forrest Campus.
Warren Beckwith has worked as a mathematics teacher since 1988, and at Helena College since 2003. Warren says his fundamental reason for teaching is that he enjoys problem solving – be it numerical or otherwise.
‘Being able to take a problem and apply a formula or algorithm to achieve a desired result provides a sense of satisfaction in the same way as building or completing a project.’
‘At times, mathematics can be a challenging subject to teach, but challenges are what help us grow. For me, it is also about lifelong learning – working with young people inspires me to continue building my own knowledge and skills, as well as find ways to help make mathematics easier to understand, or to create steps that allow students to develop the skills on their own.’
‘At the same time, I continually learn from my peers. Seeing colleagues come up with a strategy that you haven’t seen or explored before, benefits everyone in the mathematics department. Having worked at several schools over my time as an educator, I have learned from the experience and expertise of others to strengthen my own teaching. I hope that I am able to help other educators in the same way.’
Warren firmly believes that mathematics is very important for the future, both individually and as a society.
‘Unfortunately, mathematics standards are slipping in Australia, and have been for some time. I would encourage students to push themselves to further themselves in mathematics. . Students who do, may find themselves in strong demand and well-rewarded in the future.’
He says that it is his hope that he is able to inspire others to enjoy mathematics, especially students, by instruction or by example.
Warren is an active member Mathematical Association of Western Australia (MAWA), for whom he has written material and presented at conferences, where he is able to learn from, and share with, others who share a love of mathematics.
One of his favourite things to do at MAWA events, is to present the card game ‘Take Sum Risks’. He says that the game is a great way to introduce students to the practical applications of Chance. The fundamentals of the game include the basic operations of mathematics and can also be applied to multiples and place value. Warren is looking forward to doing so again, at the upcoming Maths Expo at the Crown Convention Centre (18 September 2022).
As well as teaching, Warren feels fortunate that during his career, he has been able to use his mathematical skills in a variety of contexts, including working as a transport analyst with Westrail (WA Government Railways) and as a consultant to the WAFC to assist in developing their fixtures. He has also written curriculum material for AISWA and SCSA, along with preparing his own material for his ‘side gig’, running an education service.
Warren’s other passions include football, where he is actively involved in coaching young umpires, as well as umpiring games himself on the weekends. He has been instrumental in the development of many of the young umpires working in Western Australian football.
Helena College is fortunate to have highly skilled educators on staff, who are committed to nurturing and challenging our students. They are assisted by a range of support staff who work collaboratively to ensure that the College culture and environment is operating at its best in every way.