## Award for Irish Teachers of Mathematics

Breda Disney teaches for understanding emphasizing logical, proof-based thinking, joining the dots across curriculum when needed. She leads creative, investigative and group-work based lessons. “Many of her students go on to study maths related courses in college thus ensuring many mathematicians into the future!"

Student nomination: “Breda Disney opened our eyes to the deep underlying beauties in the “simple intricacies” of mathematics. This completely changed my experience of maths, it helped me see it as the elegant language that it is.”

Awarded John M Forde medal for Mathematics for achieving top undergraduate examination performance in final year of her BSc in Applied Sciences, Irene Stone worked for 3 years as an engineer designing integrated circuits before starting teaching in 2002. Since then she has attained three postgraduate qualifications from TCD, with a 4th ongoing at UCD.

Her learning and own research are reflected in her teaching practice, such as helping her students use tech tools like coding in Scratch and Geogebra in ways that enhance their mathematical intuition, and use online collaboration in problem solving to great effect; she makes learning maths into a process of experimentation and discovery.

Irene is generously sharing her learning with other teachers: through delivery of CPD content modules as local facilitator, support for local Lesson Study networks of teachers, presentations at teacher conferences, peer learning groups, and an NCCA summer school for teachers, and collaboration with NCCA in course content creation.

Teaching in a DEIS school, Irene “believes that everyone can learn maths - no child is left out. She loves to stretch students and give them creative freedom and is not bound by curriculum”: she organises weekly ‘Brain Tickler’ challenges in school; runs Maths and Coding clubs on a voluntary basis; brings outside speakers to promote STEM and encourages students to participate in events that promote Mathematics - Student Leadership and Mathematics in TCD; Maths Sparks in UCD; Trinity Walton Club; Pangea Maths competition.

Student: “I was always amazed that this teacher could instantly see how a student was approaching a question and comprehend what the student was trying to do. She’d never ask the student to change their method and instead would mould herself to fit the students’ ideas and nudge them in the right direction. This was great.” … “I see now in college that I have a big advantage because of the way I learned Maths in school - being able to share ideas, having real understanding and enjoying the excitement of the beauty of it all -thanks to this teacher.”

Irene Stone from St. Mark’s Community School, Tallaght

Awarded John M Forde medal for Mathematics for achieving top undergraduate examination performance in final year of her BSc in Applied Sciences, Irene Stone worked for 3 years as an engineer designing integrated circuits before starting teaching in 2002. Since then she has attained three postgraduate qualifications from TCD, with a 4th ongoing at UCD.

Her learning and own research are reflected in her teaching practice, such as helping her students use tech tools like coding in Scratch and Geogebra in ways that enhance their mathematical intuition, and use online collaboration in problem solving to great effect; she makes learning maths into a process of experimentation and discovery.

Irene is generously sharing her learning with other teachers: through delivery of CPD content modules as local facilitator, support for local Lesson Study networks of teachers, presentations at teacher conferences, peer learning groups, and an NCCA summer school for teachers, and collaboration with NCCA in course content creation.

Teaching in a DEIS school, Irene “believes that everyone can learn maths - no child is left out. She loves to stretch students and give them creative freedom and is not bound by curriculum”: she organises weekly ‘Brain Tickler’ challenges in school; runs Maths and Coding clubs on a voluntary basis; brings outside speakers to promote STEM and encourages students to participate in events that promote Mathematics - Student Leadership and Mathematics in TCD; Maths Sparks in UCD; Trinity Walton Club; Pangea Maths competition.

Student: “I was always amazed that this teacher could instantly see how a student was approaching a question and comprehend what the student was trying to do. She’d never ask the student to change their method and instead would mould herself to fit the students’ ideas and nudge them in the right direction. This was great.” … “I see now in college that I have a big advantage because of the way I learned Maths in school - being able to share ideas, having real understanding and enjoying the excitement of the beauty of it all -thanks to this teacher.”

Click on photos for more information

WINNER Irene Stone from St. Mark’s Community School, Tallaght, (right) and the RUNNER-UP Breda Disney from Patrician Secondary School, Newbridge, Co. Kildare, (left) received their awards from Michael Moynihan, CPD-coordinator of IMTA. Pictured in the centre with sponsor Frank Kenny of the Frank Kenny fund for the Community Foundation for Ireland. The 2017-2018 award is also generously supported by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) through its SFI Discover programme #believeinscience.

The Irish Mathematical Trust is an organization of more than thirty mathematicians from across Ireland, dedicated to inspiring and training Ireland’s next generation of creative thinkers. IMT builds on a tradition of 30 years of engagement with secondary school students through free classes run by our volunteer staff in 5 major university centres. The Irish Mathematical Trust supports an integrative approach to Mathematical Education in Ireland, bringing together all stakeholders (teachers, parents, pupils, university students and lecturers) in a collaborative effort aimed at bringing best practices and innovative methods to the teaching of Mathematics. The IMT range of projects provide a complex, coherent system of activities aimed at young people of ages 7-18 years, designed to ignite their enthusiasm for mathematics and to nurture their development through long-term engagement, in a supportive atmosphere among like-minded peers. The IMT members and associates deliver hundreds of hours of problem solving training sessions in university centres, engage tens of thousands of students in mathematical activities through detailed online support for teachers and through volunteer work within schools, converse with the general public through joint projects with online news providers, and train university students to teach younger generations. IMT offers secondary school students with an interest in mathematics a global perspective by organizing the participation of Irish teams in prestigious international competitions – Mathematical Olympiads - with three silver and five bronze medals earned by Irish students in the last five years. All IMT work has been provided at no cost to the students or schools, thereby allowing young people of all backgrounds an equal opportunity to improve their mathematical skills within IMT programmes.

Welcome Addresses: Prof. Stephen Buckley, MRIA, Prof. Finbarr O'Sullivan, Prof. Sean Dineen and Dr. Bernd Kreussler.

Working in St Paul’s Community – a DEIS school -- Linda Cusack assembled a team of teachers and worked together to devise new strategies, making tangible connections between different areas of the Mathematics syllabus that students normally tended to view as separate, and encouraging multiple ways of viewing a problem.

With her prior work experience in the computer science industry and her involvement with extra-curricular competitions and activities in Mathematics, TY robotics and coding, she acts as a very strong role model for students. “If the Williams Sisters were to sit around all day eating chocolate then they wouldn’t be very good tennis players, whereas I - who might not have their inherent talent - can definitely become a decent player if I practice enough. “

Head of Mathematics Department, he represented Ireland as partner in the Logged On Erasmus + European Project. Niall Murphy generously shared thousands of pages of own made lesson resources; working in a DEIS school, he patiently steered students away from mental block and frustration all the way to the 3rd level courses that they love. He portrayed “how broad the field of maths was and that we were only learning about a small portion of what the subject as a whole was always about:” – “not just a leaving cert course, but an integral part of life.”

Kristina Troy from Kishoge Community College, Co Meath - Her principal named her teaching “The best that I have seen in a thirty-year career”

“one of the founders of Maths club in the school. This well-attended club meets every week and provides assistance for those who require it and challenges for students who wish to go beyond the standard curriculum in their exploration of Maths. Kristina also uses peer mentoring in her classroom where the more able students are facilitated to assist weaker classmates.”

Supports and mentors all members of the Maths and Business departments while maintaining her own expertise with CPD. “She worked very hard to allow those naturally gifted in the subject to excel and not hold them back, while also helping those students who found maths more of a challenge. This led everyone to enjoy their classes and properly engage in them”

DIPLOMAS OF EXCELLENCE awarded to Linda Cusack, Edel-Ryder-Hanrahan, Niall Murphy, Kristin Troy and Sinead O'Donovan. Also awarded in absentia to Áine Devlin, Aoife Harrison, Edel McPhelim and Eoghan O'Leary.