Mathematics is not everybody’s favourite subject.
It can be challenging, dull or simply not interesting enough to engage today’s teenagers.
Thankfully, students in the senior school at Swan Christian College have a Head of Mathematics who is experienced, well-travelled and on the cutting edge of new techniques in teaching for today’s students.
David Hunter is the sophisticated, knowledgeable and affable gentleman that puts parents at ease when discussing their son or daughter at teacher interviews and exudes a level of flamboyance that brightens up even the most mundane departmental meeting on a dreary Thursday afternoon.
“There are seventeen people who teach Maths across Swan. I enjoy the interaction between all of us at the meetings. It’s a hoot! You would be amazed to know that Maths teachers do have a sense of humour!”
David spent almost twenty years at Penrhos College before coming to Swan to lead the Mathematics Department. He has seen a variety of workplaces (teaching in the Cocos Islands with the Education Department, St Mark’s Anglican and Newman College) and charted the evolution of teaching mathematics across a career that spans more than thirty years.
He began studying Engineering at Curtin many years ago, but it was his involvement in the local youth group at All Saints’ Dianella that brought him real joy. The switch into teaching mathematics was exactly what he needed, and it is still the reason that he teaches at Swan today.
“The Christian ethos of Swan, and of SCEA, is extremely refreshing. Caring, loving, the values of forgiveness and raising each other up – these are the things that I love and value about my role here.”
Do today’s teenagers really engage with this subject though?
“Today’s parents understand the value of this subject in opening doors for future study. The subject itself is growing in the ways that mathematics can be applied to real-world problems and that’s great for engaging students in project-based activities where mathematics is required.”
Was it a change coming from Penrhos College across to Swan?
“It's enjoyable to teach boys again! They have a wonderful outlook on things and they can enjoy a laugh now and again. Swan parents are aspirational and they want their children to be supported during these critical years of life. The concerns for their son or daughter’s future is very similar no matter which school you are teaching at. Our goal is to provide those answers for these parents based on experience, training and an understanding of what works in the classroom.”
Today, David is still worshipping at All Saints’ Dianella with his family, so many years on from making the wonderful decision to teach students as a career choice.
“I was very fortunate to heed advice in my younger years that has served me well in relation to my life choices. It’s a wonderful church and I hope it can continue to grow me and the people around me for many years to come.”