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I have two goals in my current careers: 1) to make math more enjoyable for students and 2) to make investing easier for adults.
As children gain confidence and build competence in math, they enjoy it more. Why is it important to enjoy math? Math is about learning to identify concepts, apply rules consistently and compute the correct answer. In other words, math is about learning how to think. When kids give up on math, they are closing off many opportunities, and not just career paths.
How did I get interested in math? For me, math has always been part of how I see the world. Having attended Montessori school at an early age, I had been exposed to hands-on, precise mathematical materials that made understanding concepts such as fractions, multiplication and geometry simple and clear.
My first career, armed with a Master’s Degree in Economics, was as a bank economist, progressing over 13 years to become the director of research at a major bank. One of the areas that I focused on was making economic presentations easy to understand for non-economists through the use of graphs and clear analogies. As the editor of the economics department’s research, I enjoyed developing the media strategy for our reports, and one of my favourite areas of the job was media interviews.
Montessori teaching became my second career, and I operated a small Montessori school for 9 years after completing my AMI Primary Montessori training – for children aged 3 to 6.
My first two careers merged into my third – educational research. When I worked through the Master of Education program at OISE, I was able to draw on my research skills as an economist as well as the understanding of child development and learning gained through my training and teaching in Montessori.
My fourth career is well underway: teaching adults about investing. As part of this venture, I took the Canadian Securities Course again (25 years after the first time!). Now that I am teaching two investing courses at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies, I can say that this career choice is an ideal way to blend my other careers and research. As part of this investment career, I am now a contributing writer to Golden Girl Finance, an interesting and entertaining blog.