Sandy Bakos

"My experiences as a graduate student transformed my teaching, and wanting to learn more, I decided to pursue doctoral studies in mathematics education. "

Current Student
Program/Degree:
 Mathematics Education PhD

Year Graduated: 2014
Program/Degree: C&I Numeracy MEd

I have spent the past 18 years teaching in elementary school classrooms. My original training was in special education and after beginning my career teaching kindergarten, I have since taught special education pre-school and grades 2-6. My experience includes Instructional Coaching and a teacher exchange year in Australia. My interest in mathematics education began after attending an 80-minute session given by Dr. Peter Liljedahl at a teachers' convention in northwestern Alberta. At the time, I remember thinking, "If I had learned math like this, my experience would have been entirely different." Wanting to provide my students the opportunity to engage with and experience mathematics in a way that would empower them as learners, I enrolled in SFU's Master of Education in Numeracy program when it was offered in the Alberta city in which I lived and worked. My experiences as a graduate student transformed my teaching, and wanting to learn more, I decided to pursue doctoral studies in mathematics education.

Please tell us how you first discovered your program.
I first heard about the program while completing my Master of Education in Numeracy.

Please tell us why you chose the Faculty of Education at SFU for your studies.
A desire to continue to learn from the faculty members that started my journey into mathematics education were the main reason for choosing SFU.

Who is a faculty member you have enjoyed working with and why?
During my Master's degree, I had the opportunity to work with Dr. Rina Zazkis, Dr. Peter Liljedahl, Dr. David Pimm and Dr. Nathalie Sinclair. Each provided different opportunities for me to grow as a student, as a teacher and as a researcher.

What inspires you to learn and continue your education?
My experiences with mathematics in school were negative and resulted in a lot of anxiety. Wanting to learn more effective and positive ways for students to interact with and learn mathematics has inspired me to continue my education.