It’s now a few years ago, so I guess my son won’t mind if I disclose mathematics wasn’t the high point of his school career. To some extent this was personal taste – history and languages were more his forte – but a succession of teachers didn’t do much to light any fires.
The one occasion which needed any originality and problem-solving techniques was when he wanted to find the surface area of a hemisphere. He and his friends had decided to while away a particularly boring series of lessons by establishing the amount of material needed to make a pair of trousers for the generously portioned backside of Mrs F.
Mrs F was certainly his maths teacher I remember best. All the evidence suggested that not a spark of creativity or enquiry made even a fleeting appearance in her lessons. As Parents’ Evening approached I put a lot of thought into how I might gently and tactfully comment. “I’m afraid he doesn’t come to your lessons for intellectual stimulus”, I began.
“Oh, thank you, thank you”, she gushed, “you’re very kind”!