27 Jan, 2016
10 : 00
Yew Chung International School of Beijing (YCIS Beijing) IB Maths Teacher Damion Walker discusses his passion for enriching student lives through mathematics, the driven teachers of the YCIS Beijing community, and how maths projects and 3D printing collide.
Please give a brief self-introduction, e.g. where you are from, how long you have been in China, your work experience, etc.I was born and grew up in Kingston, Jamaica. I have been teaching in China for almost two years. In my previous role I was an IGCSE and IB Mathematics teacher at an international school in Kingston, Jamaica. After four years in that role, I made a decision to teach overseas and, as a result, came to Beijing.
What inspired you to become a teacher?My love for teaching started as a love for mathematics. During my undergraduate studies in mathematics, I fell in love with the certainty and logic of the subject. I observed how, as my understanding increased, my understanding in other disciplines also increased. My inspiration to become a teacher was born of my desire to help students increase their understanding of other disciplines (and the world) by studying mathematics.
What brought you to YCIS Beijing? What do you enjoy most about the school?While perusing the options for teaching at an international school in China, the philosophy and objectives of YCIS Beijing resonated with me. My thought was that, if YCIS Beijing actually puts into practice that which is stated in its philosophy and objectives, the YCIS Beijing community would be a wonderful one to join. I ended up very happy with my decision!
What do you think sets YCIS Beijing’s Secondary School Maths Programme apart from other schools?The teachers. It is amazing to see how well teachers with different backgrounds and skill sets can collaborate and complement each other. All members of the department are committed to life-long learning and, as a result, actively seek professional development opportunities. The passion for what we do overflows into our lessons to the extent that many students have grown to like mathematics as a discipline and as a subject.
Please describe a particularly interesting recent project that you assigned in your classes.I had helped an Year 12 student to conduct a mathematical project that involved using the school’s 3D printer. The student was assigned the task of using mathematical functions and calculus to design a water bottle that gave the “perfect” rate of flow. The student ended up printing several bottles using 3D printing technology.
What do you like most about living abroad and in China specifically?The diversity of geography. I grew up on a small island. Therefore, the geography was basically consistent throughout the country. In China, however, I have visited places with extreme cold, those with tropical climates, metropolises, lush forests, and even areas that are crisscrossed by canals and waterways.
Are there any other cool or interesting facts about yourself that you would like to share?I am a survival show junky. I love just about any show where a survivalist is given only a length of rope and a few days to survive in a wilderness. I also love contact sports and working out. My weirdest job was as a salmon processor at a fish factory in Sitka, Alaska.