Back in 2005, I was asked to contribute an inspirational story about one of my favourite school teachers for a collection of inspirational stories selected by my colleague and friend Robyn Henderson’s book ‘What My Favourite Teacher Taught Me’.
Mrs. Bell, my math’s teacher, is the lady who taught me that understanding mathematics is critical to acquiring knowledge and having the ability to analyse information.
At the time, back in the late 1950s at Arncliffe Girl’s High, this was far removed from what I was interested in. But for some reason, her words stuck in my mind and have surfaced over and over during my entire life. What I learned from her has actually contributed to where I am today.
Back in the 1950s, I tended to challenge life and teachers. I can clearly remember Mrs. Bell speaking to me in rather loud tones when I was questioning her knowledge of math’s or disrupting the class by talking about the boys at Tempe Boys’ High School. Even knowing she was, without a doubt, one of the best teachers I had ever encountered, I constantly tested per patients. I was a high achiever and even if I didn’t take in all the lessons I could deliver excellent results at exam time, achieving top grades for three consecutive years. Mrs. Bell persisted with me, this ‘challenging natured’ person, whilst managing to assist the girls who found math’s impossible.
My working life commenced when I took a position in the exciting world of advertising as an accountant using the (then) latest technology in bookkeeping machines – Remington Addo X 8000. This was demanding in itself, being able to program the required ledger you wanted to work on when programming was still in its infancy.
This led me into the computer industry, initially as an accountant and then taking on the new role of Reseller Manager, whilst maintaining the financial control of the organisation.
For ten years my career has moved into developing business by improving internal communication strategies, being client focused, researching new growth market opportunities and strengthening business processes for the commercial training arm of TAFE NSW, TAFE PLUS.
When I think about my career I now realise that the words of Mrs. Bell have rung true for me. ‘Learning and understanding math’s is one of the most important fundamentals of acquiring knowledge and having the ability to analyse information.’ This has actually contributed to where I am today. Thanks, Mrs. Bell.