Nevisians have constantly been making invaluable contributions in whichever communities we find ourselves. Sports, law, health, education, gospel ministry, economics are just a few that spring to mind. I’ve decided to dedicate this article and highlight yet another son of the soil that has done just that as a math teacher in the Virgin Islands.
Kenneth Selkridge left Nevis in 1980 and found employment on St. Thomas, V.I. in 1980. He taught there until he was transferred to St. Croix in 1987 and has been teaching at the Charles H. Emanuel School up until this day.
Mr. Selkridge holds a diploma in education from the University of the West Indies School of Education, a bachelor of arts degree from the University of the Virgin Islands and a master of science degree from the University of Miami. He was chosen as an Unsung Hero for the 1994-95 school year and Teacher of the Year 1997-98, both on St. Croix. He is also an active member of various organizations.
Selkridge, as author, has writen a book Mathematics Dictionary + Math Related Topics and Fun Activities. This book was designed to make math fun and easier to understand by users. His philosophy is, “A good math vocabulary is very important for success in mathematics. Mathematics is a language and just as developing a vocabulary is important to reading, so is developing a vocabulary in mathematics”.
Selkridge got his spur to put this book together by looking at an Ophra Winfrey show where she challenged her viewers to do something positive in their communities that will help others.
The next day in class while going through some paperwork, test papers and other related material, a sparkling idea came to him. He pondered for a moment then decided he could do something to make life easier for the students who did not grasp the math theory as well as some others. He felt if one had a math dictionary and knew the exact meaning of reflex angle, perimeter, numerator, horizontal, divisor, common factor, common denominator, ratio, etc. etc., that individual would have a better understanding of how to proceed in dealing with the math problem.
From that perspective, Mathematics Dictionary + Math Related Topics and Fun Activities was born and has been a huge welcome to students, teachers, parents and educators. Math problem solving has become a joy to many students and parents.
Endorsed by the St. Croix Federation of Teachers, the 163-page book is easy to comprehend. It is recommended for grades 4 and higher, and written at a level that encourages even the younger ones to explore. The definitions and illustrations within are so simplified that delving further and further into it seems automatic thus learning more while developing a love and interest in math is almost guaranteed.
A browse through the book immediately captures one’s imagination.
The table of contents includes Fractions, Critical Thinking, Exploring Multiplication, Geometry and more.
Facts about angles, Mathematical Fun – Number Tricks and Fun Tricks are some that really got me excited.
Math now seems more exciting for the students of grade 6 at Charles H. Emanuel School in St. Croix and the improvements are quite noticeable. Thanks mainly to Nevisian born Kenneth Selkridge.