I enjoy teaching mathematics very much and am committed to striving for excellence in all my teaching
endeavors. My teaching experience can be traced back to when I served as a private tutor for mathematics
during my undergraduate study. My classroom teaching experience started when I was a instructor
at the Open University in Sri Lanka. My teaching skills were further polished during my five years of
teaching at the Oakland University as a teaching assistant and at both Oakland University and Oakland
Community College as a lecturer.
When I was a lecturer at Oakland University and Oakland Community College, I wanted always to be
friendly with the students. Rather than looking like a teacher, most of the time, I was just like one of
them. The students enjoyed my teaching so much that they asked me to teach classes for another course
many times. I have to say that while helping the students in solving the problems, I myself also learned a
lot. I realized that while being a teacher, I was actually given a second chance to learn the course again,
but in a much more thorough way.
From the very beginning of my teaching, I believed that good planning leads to good teaching. As a
teacher, you must have a clear understanding of the topics you are teaching; you must have a clear idea
on how to deliver the topics to the students. Only when you know the topic well, you will be able to explain
it to students well. While I was teaching, besides preparing for the class carefully, I also tried to be
well organized in class, both in verbal communication and in blackboard writing. This would certainly
help the students to understand the material.
As both a student and a teacher, I clearly understood that the teacher should be accessible to all students.
Whenever I was holding recitation classes or when I was teaching, I constantly reminded myself that
the students are at different levels, so it is very important to make sure everyone follows the class. This
meant, sometimes that, I had to explain the same concept or problem several times. I frequently told the
students not to be afraid to ask questions once in a while during my teaching, I stopped to ask for questions
as I understood that not every student was bold enough to call them out. Besides holding regular
office hours, I also encouraged students to make individual appointments. This ensured that they could
seek for help whenever they needed it. Frequently, I received appreciative comments from my students
about my teaching as well as my accessibility.
I also think a good teacher should always look for ways to improve teaching skills. While teaching
itself was certainly improving my skills, I paid great attention any suggestions either given by students
or obtained from the semi-annual teaching evaluation conducted by senior professors in the Department
of Mathematics. Right after I received the suggestions, I thought about the issues carefully and tried to
practice ways to improve in the upcoming teachings.
Looking forward, I would be interested in teaching any undergraduate math courses, from introductory
courses in calculus, elementary algebra up though advanced undergraduate courses in algebra, analysis,
differential equations, graph theory, operations research, optimization, and numerical analysis. I would
also enjoy teaching graduate courses in applied mathematics, computer algebra, algebra, commutative
algebra, algebraic geometry, graph theory, real analysis, complex analysis, numerical analysis, and mathematical
statistics. Given my extensive experience of using Maple, Saclib, Mathematica, and Matlab etc.,
I will be eager to integrate these computer learning components into the teaching whenever possible, as
these tools have become indispensable for both academic research and industrial applications.
MAT 127 2.0 Calculus II
Department of Mathematics, University of Sri Jayewadenepura