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Brother Clementian

Passion for teaching

  • Brother Clementian was a Brother Director.
  • After retirement as a Brother Director, he continued teaching passionately until he passed away.
  • His younger brother had a couple of Doctorates, but his teaching was not valued as highly as that of Brother Clementian, who did not have a Doctorate but had a huge heart.

Fairness

  • Brother Clementian did not know or care if a student is a son of the President, Prime Minister, Minister or a high ranking official.
  • He treated every student fairly.

No Inspection Allowed

  • It was customary for the Director (e.g. Brother Felix) or the Sub-Director (e.g. Brother Urban) to inspect the classes and give punishment to the rowdy students.
  • Brother Clementian would not allow the Brother Director or the Assistant Director to come near his class.
  • He could control the class.
    Many remember his smile, and a few remember the strong finger that he used for poking at “badly behaving” students.

Best Maths Teacher?

[Per Dr. Nyan Taw (SPHS63)] : Brother Clementian taught us mathematics in high school. We were the last lucky group (A&B) he taught before he retired. Min Oo [who completed two Doctorates in Mathematics in Germany and taught in Canada] was in Section A whereas I was in Section B. The best maths teacher ever !!!

[Per U Than Win (SPHS63, RIT69er) ] : Whenever I find” Sequence Geometry ” in the old stock of books I always remember our great Maths teacher. We love and revered but sometime we feel somewhat frightened whenever we lack preparation. The most remembered word in this geometry book is QED (which is to be proved) because he always stare at us and stressed the word whenever the problem is solved. Gone, gone, but still in our heart.

The Last Journey

  • Brother Clementian was loved by many people (especially his former students).
  • When he passed away, the cortege left from SPHS (St. Paul’s High School) to the Tamwe Christian Cemetery.
  • When the cars arrived at the Cemetery for the Burial Service, many cars were still leaving SPHS.

His Techniques

  • [Leader by example]
    He taught us not only Mathematics, but how to be a good teacher.
  • [Tolerance]
    He would start a class with a prayer.
    The students may pray in their own way, or just stand still.
  • [Lots of preparation]
    In addition to the prescribed texts (e.g. Hall & Knight, Siddons & Hughes, Sequence Geometry), he had several other Mathematics.
  • [Interaction with the students]
    He would teach a topic and ask one or more students to go onto the blackboard to show what they have learned and to solve selected problems.
  • [No Rote Learning]
    He reminded us not to impose unnecessary “restrictions”. For example, if he asked a student to draw a triangle, it should be an arbitrary one (not restricted as an isosceles or equilateral) and it could/should be labeled differently from the one used in his example.
  • [Perfect Practice]
    Every student would have two (or more) exercise books, so that he can collect and grade the homework. Every week, he would give a test of three questions to be answered in one hour. This training prepared many students to complete six questions in the Matriculation examination much earlier than the allotted three hours and score Distinctions.
  • [Acknowledge gifted students]
    He acknowledges that some students (e.g. Min Oo) are gifted and have learned beyond High School Mathematics.
  • It is sad to hear that some present day students do not get marks if they deviate from “rote learning”.

Previous Years

  • In the previous years, there was a single examination for High School Final and Matriculation.
  • The students had to take Burmese, English and [Ordinary] Mathematics.
  • Those plan to study Science can take Physics, Chemistry and Additional Mathematics.

Dr. Thane Oke Kyaw Myint (SPHS60) wrote :

  • I have forgotten the name of the mathematics textbook. It was a government prescribed one. There was another book to used in college. Brother Clementian finished the first book but blithely went in with the book for Intermediate A during our matric class. It made the questions in Additional Maths easier for us because of this.
  • There was only one person who could beat Brother. Myo Myint would shout that he could work out the solution — provided by Brother Clementian — using less number of steps. And he was always correct. At the end of his working out each tine, Brother Clementian would turn to Myo Myint and ask “Can you do better?” which Myo Myint often could.

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