As an Arts student studying Mathematical Studies, Olga O’Mahony jumped at the chance to take part in the Undergraduate Ambassador Module as part of her course. This is a service learning module available as an option to Maths students in which they get academic credit for their work. It involves students working in partnership with a school and Maths teacher in designing a fun Maths programmes for second level students.
The module consists of 4 hours a week, in class with the teachers, for one semester. Olga had to help plan classes and also had to come up with a fun, practical Maths project. During her time in the school Olga had to keep a journal of reflective writing in which she had to document how classes went, different teaching styles of teachers, what helped students and general observations. This was a very useful exercise for Olga as it made her think about herself as a teacher and the different ways in which students actually learn.
Olga found the experience to be hugely beneficial as she got the chance to see a more practical side to Maths. She was also very interested in pursuing a career in secondary school teaching so found the module a very useful way to “try it out”. When asked to sum up her experience, Olga said “The whole experience was well worth it. It was fun and you get something out of it as well. It gives you confidence, unless you are put in a situation to think for yourself you are never going to do it”.