For most teachers, the mention of a classroom of 500 students would be enough to send a shiver down their spines.
Not for Eddie Woo.
The Australian teacher making Maths fun again has shared his love of the subject with 500 students in Griffith.
In the last few years, the NSW teacher has taken the internet by storm with YouTube videos exploring his passion for Maths.
The 2018 Local Hero of the Year wowed students from Griffith, Leeton and Wade High Schools as well as Hillston, Tullibigeal and Ardlethan Central Schools.
Mr Woo described his visit as “an absolute delight”.
“The kids were outstanding and the staff was wonderful. I had a great visit,” he said.
In recent years, Mr Woo’s YouTube channel has grown an international audience. He says it all started when he filmed an uploaded a classroom lesson on a sick day.
Much of his work surrounds changing attitudes to the way Maths is approached by student and taught by staff.
“It’s about seeing and experiencing Mathematics in a way that is accessible,” he said.
“When I was a Year 10 student who had trouble understanding something like trigonometry, I would go to the teacher and their response would be some variation of telling me I wasn’t good at Maths or explaining the same thing again in a way that was louder and slower.”
Like many students, it made him feel like it was a subject he wasn’t cut out for.
“I don’t want to my student’s struggles or problems by being dismissive. I think this a crucial part of the learning journey,” he said.
“I love that students can get something wrong, learn from it and advance.”
The channel now has over 200,000 subscribers and more than 10 million collective views.
Executive High School Principal Peter King said Mr Woo presented an opportunity to show Maths in a different light.
“Eddie showed that Maths is meant to be fun and enjoyable. It’s not dry or boring at all,” he said.
He spoke Maths as exploration which something innate in the human DNA. He also also spoke as maths as a story or a narrative.”
Also on hand were the crew from the award-winning Australian story, who are updating an episode on Mr Woo.
“They used his trip to Griffith to follow him around and update his story,” Mr King said.
“Gone are the days where we say go to the exercise book and do the odd numbered questions.”
Mr Woo will also visit schools in Wagga and Albury as part of his regional tour. He also spoke to teachers during his stint in Griffith.
“He’s an enthusiastic and engaging presenter. As a teacher, it’s inspiring to watch,” Mr King said.
”After lunch he spoke to staff. We also played some maths and card games and he showed off a few card tricks.”
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