Updated: Jul 31, 2020
As I will become chair of the maths society (I am not trying to be arrogant, there is a pretty good reason for it. There are only two rising juniors in the society, and the other guy is a humanity student uninterested in maths), I have made some plans regarding it. I do not want to be just any chair; I want to be a really distinguished chair that my underclassmen would, in the future, recollect that there was this really cool chair of the math society called Sean. As my life motto is “dare to be different,” I want to do things that no one else did in the past.
During my previous two years of being in the math society, what I’ve learnt is that different people come to the society for different reasons, but the society’s activities does not sufficiently consider all of these different motives.
I think there are mainly three types of people who come to our society: people who are genuinely interested in maths and want to pursue higher studies, people who are more interested in stats and activities than an actual passion in maths, and people who may not be passionate mathematicians but want to improve their math skills and get better grades.
So the several reforms that I want to do are as follows:
1. I want to first really clearly divide roles.
Currently the roles in our society are chair, members, full stop. When people are given roles, they often feel special and dedicate themselves more to the organization. I would first really clearly divide the roles and give people special roles. These are not only about the positions that our school made like secretary or publicity officer, but also about some positions that might be unique to the math society. I am thinking of making new positions like competition manager, researchers, mentors, or such.
2. I also want to take part in a LOT of team competitions.
There are many reasons for this. Team competitions are just basically fun! In competitions like NEAMC or ARML, I always get closer to people that I went to and have lots of fun as well. Also, short-term goals like competitions stimulate individuals and, obviously, become good stats for the future.
I know more competitions than anyone else in the school (because I am a very competitive person and thus like taking part in competitions where there are clear ranking systems), and I wish to use that knowledge to better our school's math community.
3. Third, I would have concrete support networks.
Many students come just to get better at math, but the current support system in my opinion is too weak. It does not take into consideration that all people have different needs and areas that they want to focus. I would have mainly two types of support structures: support sessions and tutoring system. For the support sessions, I would run them during lunchtimes, where each student mentor has a year level they would teach, so that we could specialize for each year level. Then, we could exclusively focus on areas that students want to learn and important areas depending on the mentee’s year group. Often year 7, 8, 9s want to prepare themselves for addmath. year 10 and 11s have difficulties coping with their schoolwork. I would ensure that there are different specialized mentors for different needs.
Also, I would most certainly create a 1:2 or 1:1 mentor system where a IB student gives advice for his or her mentees.
4. Certainly, I will try my best in communicating.
One fatal flaw I found until now is that the society is too dormant. This inactivity, added with the common perception that math is nerdy and boring, hinders us from reaching out into the school community. I would publicize our efforts, be more ostentatious and show off the amazing things that we are doing and can do, and have assemblies where I speak out to the whole school.
5. Most importantly, I would ensure that all meetings are fun and engaging,
so that they wouldn’t be run in a way where one knowledgeable person spoonfeed information. We will have open discussions and forums where we can talk about interesting factions of math.