If you are reading this page, you must be a dedicated teacher who is deeply concerned about his or her students. And you have some spare time! Exactly the person that we want! The SFMC is the perfect program for you if:
you have one or more students who love math and are very keen on learning more;
you are able to spare a few hours a week to take these students to the closest location to you;
you would like to expand your own mathematical knowledge with some non-standard material;
you would like to see Mathematical Practices applied in engaging activities.
Teachers are at the core of our program for Middle School and High School students! We rely on teachers to identify students who are enthusiastic about math, or may benefit from learning mathematics in an alternative setting. Several students who were brought to Math Circle by the teachers have been surprised by how engaging Math Circle is!
Don't worry too much about how much your student knows. Our program is designed to require very little formal knowledge. And our instructors are very good at working with varieties of students. The academic program is designed to be flexible. Our starting point is determined by the students' knowledge and interests.
Teachers can benefit by joining Math Circle as well. We teach novel mathematics topics, with an emphasis on problem solving. This connects to the Common Core Standards for Mathematical Practice.
Here's how the SFMC program works:
1 You select one or more students (in grades 6--10) to attend the program. These students should be curious about learning more mathematics. We invite you to use whatever criteria you wish. Test scores may be a good indicator, or they may not. It is quite possible that the best students may be the ones who do poorly on exams, because they "waste" time thinking about the hardest problems. Perhaps your best kid is the one who asks the best questions. Just make sure that your student(s) are motivated enough to persist in hard problems. This is an enrichment program, not a remedial program.
2 The student(s) you select agree to participate. Consent of a parent or guardian, of course is required. All students will need to sign a waiver form and bring it to the SFMC. Parents or guardians may want to consult the calendar to make sure that the student will be able to attend most classes. Help them register online here.
3 Bring the student(s) to the location of your choice! Regular participation is encouraged so that the student(s) can acclimate to Math Circle culture, and build relationships with other students and the instructors. After all, the student will only get as much out of the program as he or she puts into it.
As a teacher, especially if you work with children from disadvantaged backgrounds, you may be worried that professional mathematicians will have trouble relating to young kids who don't know much math (even if they are very bright and love math). In general, this fear is warranted, but the instructors of the SFMC are exceptions. None of them have your teaching expertise, but all are seasoned teachers who have worked with pre-college students, and many have worked with kids in camps and other residential programs. Our instructors are experts in getting kids engaged in mathematics. Professional mathematicians who have taught high school or middle school are quite rare. Mathematicians who have taught kids well are even rarer. And mathematicians who enjoy teaching kids well are rarer still. Luckily, the Bay Area is tremendously rich in mathematicians. We have found those rare birds who have both profound knowledge of their subject and a gift for sharing it with children. ( Click Here for More Information about the instructors.)
BACT - Bay Area Circle for Teachers.
In the past, we had special Math Circle sessions just for teachers! However, the Bay Area Circle for Teachers was cancelled due to poor attendance. However, if you know a decent sized group of teachers who would like to have regular sessions, we would be happy to talk with you.