Tell us a little bit about your background.
Prior to joining ACG, Sophia studied, worked and lived in Australia, France, Indonesia, Pakistan and the United Kingdom. She trained in Natural Sciences and has extended her qualifications in secondary school teaching especially in the areas of Science and Mathematics. To her credit, she has a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology, Master of Science in Diagnostic Microbiology from University of Karachi, PhD in Medical Sciences from University of Birmingham, UK, Graduate Diploma in Education from Charles Sturt University, Australia and Courses in Teaching Mathematics from the Open University, UK. She brings in wealth of experience working as a senior scientist, teacher and manager of a Community College, teacher and workplace assessor at TAFE, NSW, before starting as a high school teacher in Australia and Indonesia. Sophia enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, travelling and reading, she loves being part of the international community and has passion for teaching.
What’s the secret to your teaching success?
The secret to my success as a teacher would be the ability to relate to my students and give them a safe, comfortable yet rigorous learning environment in which they prosper in their secondary education.
What inspires you?
I am inspired by the thought of having a strong impact in laying the foundation for a successful future generation of young minds.
What do you like most about your role as a mathematics and science teacher?
The ability to transfer my specific knowledge and skills to inspire my students and aid them to pursue successful careers in the domain of Mathematics and Science as I was once inspired by my Immunology professor.
What inspires you about mathematics and the sciences in particular?
Both Mathematics and Science integrate seamlessly into the world around us. The ability to pinpoint and understand the world to a subcellular and molecular level, while, retaining the mathematical concepts behind the theory inspires me to pursue both fields.
Where can mathematics take you career-wise?
Mathematics is needed in almost every profession. For example, accountancy, actuarial science, economics, business, banking, investments, engineering and biomedical sciences.
Can mathematical ability be developed or is it something innate?
Mathematical ability can be developed by acquiring understanding and using the relationships between entities. It comes natural to some people but everyone can develop mathematical skills by practice and application of the concepts learned in their courses.
How can mathematics benefit those who are not planning to make it their career?
It will help them to make informed decisions about money, investments, planning their lives in terms of getting mortgages, travel and above all getting value for money in their day to day living.
What are you previous students doing now?
They are studying in Universities in Australia or have graduated and pursuing various careers and have become valuable members of the society.
ACG School, Jakarta is very international. Is it challenging to teach mathematics to non-native English speakers?
Success in Mathematics goes hand in hand with the development of literacy and numeracy skills. It is important for non-native English speakers to acquire the language used in Mathematics when their medium of instruction is not their mother tongue. However, to help ensure non-native English speakers do not fall behind or their learning is not hindered by the language barriers present, we provide support for students who are learning English as a Second Language (ELS).
What advice would you give to students who want to succeed in mathematics?
Practice, practice and practice. However, the principles behind the application of skills should be strong. Therefore, make sure your understanding is clear before you start practising.