S.A.M Singapore Math teachers know a fun way to unlock a child’s potential through Math!
It is widely acknowledged that teaching is a noble profession. Be it a calling or a mission, teachers are revered for their ability to hone and influence a child’s character on academic, personal, and emotional levels.
While a teacher-student relationship usually only thrives within the confines of a classroom, the imparted knowledge and wisdom of a teacher permeate deeply in the psyche of students.
This kind of educational journey allows learners to tap and unlock boundless potentials even when they leave the educational walls.
Such a claim is specifically true for the teachers of Seriously Addictive Mathematics (S.A.M) or Singapore Math—a learning center that offers unique, concrete, and outcome-driven learning experience for children aged four to 12 years old.
Here are some of S.A.M Singapore Math teachers’ experience in handling kids and how they ultimately help them discover the countless possibilities that Mathematics has to offer.
Overcoming math anxiety with Teacher Sofia
Teacher Sofia Tan fondly recalls meeting her five-year-old student for the first time: “Her face was red and her eyes were glassy.”
According to Teacher Sofia, the kid’s hesitation to enter the learning area for assessment prompted her to believe that the kid might be struggling with Mathematics.
But daunting as it seemed, the student had an “easy and fun” learning journey, owed mainly to Teacher Sofia’s dedication and patience. On top of that, the structure of S.A.M Singapore Math is crafted to address learning gaps, establish a strong foundation, and ensure subject mastery.
Eventually, the student learned to loosen up to the point that she finally came to understand and love the subject.
Now, 12 sessions have passed and, Teacher Sofia shares that “This student was already going around the center asking the other students what their favorite subject is, just to tell them that hers is Math!”
For Teacher Sofia, that moment was straight-up “joyful” and fulfilling” since she saw how their “hard work changed the view of the student towards Math.” As a result, the kid found her confidence in exploring Mathematics. And the bonus part? She was eventually awarded Best in Math!
Another interesting moment that Teacher Sofia shared was when a student came up to her with a handwritten note. “Thank you, Teacher Sofia! I love Math because of you,” the letter read.
An adult does not usually recognize the weight of a child’s word, but for Teacher Sofia, these two sentences resonated and put her in deep reflection.
“Cliche as it may sound, that was the day I really realized how teachers can touch minds and hearts,” she shares.
“Through explanations, hands-on activities, and of course using the Concrete-Pictorial-Abstract approach that Singapore Math is known for, we were able to build the child’s confidence and showed her that she can conquer math independently in a fun and exciting way,” she adds.
Ultimately, Teacher Sofia understands that while the learning process may be taxing for some, teachers have the role to be their “North Star” in their journey of learning and growing with S.A.M Singapore Math.
Achieving excellence with Teacher May
With all the energy and devotion that teaching entails, it is only natural that a child’s win is a victory also celebrated by teachers. This is particularly true for Teacher May Ann Tarrazona, who has been teaching for 13 years.
Apart from Teacher May’s solid background in General Education, she also works over the weekend as a S.A.M Singapore Math instructor. In fact, she reveals that she has been a certified S.A.M educator since 2018 before opening her own S.A.M learning center as a franchisee this 2023.
This accumulated years of experience is replete with victorious memories achieved by her S.A.M students.
She recalls, “I [had] a student before, 79 siya sa Math. He was very afraid in doing Math and also, muntik na siyang mag-summer [class] dahil sa grade niya. So, nag-twice session siya sa S.A.M, and then, ayan, nag-line of 8 yung grades niya.
“Eventually, tumaas lahat ng quarterly grades niya, and hindi na siya nag-summer, and then naging confident enough siya sa pag-aaral ng Math. Kaya kahit hanggang High School, kinukuha pa rin nila ako,” she adds.
Speaking of momentous wins, Teacher May also takes pride in the international feats bagged by her students. Just one example is one of her students from Las Piñas City.
“Meron akong student na Grade 5 lang siya pero sobrang talino niya. Nagko-compete siya internationally. Ang worksheet niya sa S.A.M is Grade 6 tapos pagdating sa competition outside, third place siya sa Thailand,” she says.
Teacher May’s hands-on approach to kids was already irrefutable, so much, that even that particular student’s younger sibling was enrolled under S.A.M’s program in an online setup.
How do these teachers help students be their best?
Learning requires effort just as much as teaching requires patience. But despite challenges such as time management, absenteeism, and familiarity with traditional Math, these teachers still uphold a common learning belief.
Teachers Sofia and May know very well that the way to holistic learning is understanding that every child learns differently. This sentiment is shared and practiced as much by another S.A.M teacher, Claire Joy Espiritu.
She attests that S.A.M Singapore Math “combines the benefits of personalized training with the discipline of self-learning and self-discovery.” More so, the structure is “designed to introduce new concepts in incremental steps to make learning easier.”
All three teachers cite the program’s Concrete-Pictorial-Abstract (CPA) approach as one of the efficient approaches in learning. This has been the trademark of S.A.M, that holistically targets the needs of students with the preliminary help of manipulatives.
As Teacher Sofia explains it, “We start introducing Math concepts with the use of ‘concrete’ objects or what we call ‘manipulatives’ so that the child can see and feel the math concepts.
“Then once the child has shown mastery in this stage, we gradually move to the use of visual representations (pictorial) so that they can see the relationship between the manipulatives and the drawings…”
Then they transition to “adding the signs of the operations and numbers,” which is now called the abstract stage. With this systematic procedure, teachers are able to bridge the gap between the students’ “whys” and “hows,” as it ultimately results in “better retention.”
Clearly, these victorious experiences did not just happen overnight. The sweetness of these successes requires an enduring love for teaching and perseverance in learning; both of which must be shared by a teacher and a student.
This comes with understanding that a child’s excellence in Math is attainable with S.A.M. For interested parents, they may visit S.A.M’s official website for inquiry and information, including the list of branches near you.
Banner Art Paulo Correa