Visiting Teaching Fellows

About the School's Visiting Teaching Fellows program

The School of Mathematics and Statistics created the position of Visiting Teaching Fellow (VTF) in the late 1980s. The first Fellow was Dr. William Pender, who went on to become Head of Mathematics at Sydney Grammar School. The VTF position has had no shortage of interest, and we have welcomed teachers from both private and public schools. 

The aim of the VTF position is to provide a two-way opportunity for experienced school teachers to spend a year with us, undertaking tutoring in First Year Mathematics. Some Fellows have also taken on second year tutorials, and others have lectured our Fundamentals of Mathematics course in Semester 2. In addition to taking these classes, the Fellow is available during their consultation hours to assist students, and also helps to select and mentor new casual tutors. The VTF is invited to give a short talk to the School at the end of their year, to share their insights into our courses and into the teaching aspect of our mission. 

The School of Mathematics and Statistics benefits from having an experienced teacher among us to impart advice on teaching issues, and we also get the opportunity to understand the knowledge base that secondary students have in mathematics. Meanwhile, the high schools benefit from having a teacher who is knowledgeable about modern mathematical teaching practices at a major tertiary institution.

The VTF has the opportunity to consolidate and extend their knowledge of mathematics. For many of our Fellows, this has proved an invaluable asset in their professional development and we maintain contact with them after they have returned to their schools.

Applications for the position are usually advertised around June/July each year.

The School's 2017 Teaching Fellow

Margaret Clemson
Kincoppal - Rose Bay School

Past Teaching Fellows

Paul Hancock (2016)
Woonona High School
"There were two major driving forces behind my decision to apply for the Visiting Teaching Fellowship. The first came from a bit of personal history; it was a Visiting Teaching Fellow that in my first year at UNSW set the seed for me to ultimately become a teacher of mathematics. The second came from a realisation that the senior mathematics curriculum is set to change quite significantly in the next few years, with statistics being introduced throughout.

I realised this year would be a perfect time for me to revisit my university statistics, putting me in a prime position to help transition our local community of schools confidently into implementing the new curriculum. The chance to teach university level mathematics is both a daunting one and an exciting one; understanding is one thing, teaching others so that they too understand is another, something those of us who teach know well. I look forward to a challenging and rewarding experience." - March 2016. 

Geoff Carroll (2015)

Sydney Grammar School
"As a high school mathematics teacher, the Visiting Teaching Fellow program presents a fantastic opportunity to re-engage with my undergraduate level maths, collaborate with academics on teaching and learning strategies, and build enduring links with one of Australia's leading centres for mathematics research and teaching. My goal this year is to establish a clear narrative for learning mathematics so that my future students will be able to put their learning not only in the context of what they already know but where it is taking them. Knowing how students will learn maths when they leave school will inform my approach to teaching them in their senior years, in much the same way that the senior mathematics curriculum forms my teaching of students in their junior years. The School of Mathematics and Statistics has actively encouraged my participation in many excellent initiatives to increase student engagement in mathematics and genuinely values the insight a school teacher can bring to the table. As a means of professional development, I've no doubt that this experience will prove invaluable to the learning outcomes of my future students". - February 2015

Thanom Shaw

Thanom Shaw (2014)
"I have a book at home, that I bought when I was in London a few years ago, called 'Bridging the Gap to University Mathematics'. You see, my days of studying Mathematics at university seem long ago and this book was the beginning of the road to remembering the big ideas and the fine details of this amazing subject I love teaching so much. So when I found out about this incredible opportunity at UNSW, I simply knew I had to apply, and I was so fortunate to be supported whole-heartedly by SCEGGS, where I have been teaching for 9 years. Spending 2014 immersed in studying and teaching university level Mathematics at UNSW is a bit of a dream come true for me and a professional development opportunity not so easy to come by. At the moment I am thoroughly enjoying going back to chalk and blackboards, and working with pen and paper, puzzling over proofs and thinking deeply about all things Mathematics. The university is about to come alive for the Autumn Semester, and gap bridged or not, I can't wait for it to get started". - March 2014

Read a full interview with Thanom Shaw.

Watch Thanom in action on our YouTube channel.

Derek Stokes (2013)
Sydney Girls High School

"Whilst teaching at Sydney Girls High School in 2012 I was alerted to the position of Teaching Fellow at UNSW, and after some contemplation I felt compelled to apply. An opportunity to revisit university level mathematics and be paid at the same time was impossible to resist. I have been teaching in NSW schools for 15 years, and engaging with students at the next level up is the sort of professional development and challenge rarely available. At this moment, I am studying algebraic and calculus concepts in preparation for my role as First Year Mathematics tutor. It is refreshing and insightful to momentarily return to the role of student. However, I am looking forward to passing on my skills and knowledge from March onwards". - February 2013.

2012 David Houghton

2011 Soon Ju Yun

2010 Elaine Agapiou

2009 Alex Davyskib 

2006-2008 No Fellow this period

2005 Wanda Thomson

2004 Gerry Sozio

2003 Helen Jones

2002 Ian Woodhouse

2001 Margaret Slezak          

2000 David Price

1999 Pat Harnett

1998 Jamie Suddaby

1997 Shantha Bose

1996 John Matarese & Frank Reid

1995 Rob Neurath

1994 Laurie Fahy

1993 John Duffy

1992 Ray Popple

1991 David Sadler

1990 No Fellow this year

1989 Bill Pender