Category Archives: Teaching blogs

Why AP & GP should be taught before summation

Today one of my student from SAJC asked me why are there many formulas to memorise for the topic on summation. One of the “formula” on the list was

\sum\limits_{r=1}^{n}{r}=\frac{n}{2}\left( n+1 \right).

I find it difficult to answer this because this is supposed to be a sum of first n terms of arithmetic progression. Students should apply what they learn on AP to evaluate this sum, not memorise it as an object but not knowing what it is.

Most schools will teach AP and GP first before summation as for H2 syllabus, evaluating a summation usually (not always) involves sum of AP, GP or Method of Difference. Just not sure why SAJC chose to be “different”.

Parents are still grateful to teachers no matter which school is it.

Today a parent sent me a SMS to thank me for helping her son.


It is pretty rare that a parent will still thank the tutor in a tertiary institution, I thought this would normally happen in govt schools.

Basically this student of mine has been absent from lessons and refused to reply to my calls.  I had to do a house visit to find out what happened. His mentor has suggested to expel him from school but upon hearing his story from his parents that he has mild depression, especially after he broke up with his girlfriend, I wrote in to explain the situation to the higher authorities.

Luckily he is allowed to continue with the module and he proved the other lecturers wrong by showing that he could catch up with his work and passed the module.

Remember to all teachers / tutors out there, we are not just academic adviser but also our student’s emotional support.