Lined notebook

Describe a learning experience you had

That was the topic of the essay to be accepted to the teacher trainer course. I should say that at that time I had students working on their uni application essay on somewhat similar topics. So, I felt being put in their shoes for an evening: same word limit (250 words), same general question to think about. 

My essay

Since high school, I never had a chance (or wish) to deal with mathematics. But this year, falling for peer pressure, I have re-discovered the beauty of the most logical and precise science, trying to refresh my vague memories and grasping totally new concepts.

A few days ago I was stunned by a carelessly dropped in a talk ‘negative zero’. Hold on a second… Zero, you mean that one, between positive and negative numbers, right? But how, how can it be positive or negative, when it is already like nothing?

A bunch of questions crossed my mind; they required answers. Despite the late hour, I started looking for more information. An hour later I was totally engaged in the Khan academy lesson, doing a quiz on the topic of limits. In daily life we usually apply this word as ‘limitations’, but in maths the concept goes so much deeper, allowing numbers to get incredibly close to the required coordinate, but never reaching it. It is more than lines of graphs or calculations, there is some sort of philosophy behind it.

Now, imagine this: an English teacher, at night, excited to learn a mathematical concept, trying to solve problems and hit the perfect score in the quiz. Is it something you or even that very teacher herself expect? Not really. But this is the example of the best learning experience possible: promoted by pure curiosity, broadening the perspective and with the pleasure from the process, not for the sake of the result.

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