Having just completed my first teacher-training placement I am now heading into the Christmas holidays for a well-earned break. Well that is apart from having plans to:

- Complete my college assignment
- Further enhance my subject knowledge
- Develop my understanding of how children learn

Of course there is time to relax over the Christmas holidays, but for me, becoming a Mathematics Scholar is a statement of ambition. On the one hand I have the ambition to become the best teacher that I can be, whilst on the other hand I have the ambition to do the best for my pupils. Being an IMA scholar on the maths teacher training scheme has certainly helped me progress my ambitions in more ways than I thought possible.

The scholarship events, in particular, have been extremely inspiring. For a start, experienced teachers, who are truly enthusiastic about mathematics education, run the events. This gives scholars the opportunity to gain first-hand experience of how some of the most inspirational teachers in the UK deliver their craft. Whilst I am yet a novice in the classroom, the scholarship events have inspired me to try out some ideas in the classroom myself. One particular success occurred when I demonstrated to a class of year 8’s how to order negative numbers. I did this by running up and down a number line across the front of the classroom in response to instructions from the pupils. The hilarity that ensued was more than offset by the learning that took place by all.

The scholarship events also offer scholars the opportunity to interact with each other, sharing experiences and ideas. I have found this invaluable as it is always helpful to hear how other scholars are progressing and especially to find out that you aren’t the only person in the room who finds the challenge of learning to teach much tougher than you could have imagined. All scholars are keen to help each other to solve problems and some of the suggestions from other scholars have been really helpful during my placement.

Finally, the events have been designed to show scholars how cutting edge maths is being used in both private and public sector organisations. For example, as the world fills up with data faster than ever before, we are now finding that we need mathematicians to make sense of the information contained within it. This in turn is creating new jobs that didn’t exist as little as 5 years ago. What a great time it is for us to be training the mathematicians of the future.

I have found that one of the greatest challenges in becoming a maths teacher is to find ways to make lessons engaging. Maths miss mac and maths scholarship schemes provides access to teaching resources that have allowed me to try different classroom approaches. The vast array of resources available to scholars, provides a great source of inspiration and are helping me to develop my classroom personality, subject knowledge and creativity.

In all, the scholarship has provided me with a source of support that has helped me to cope with a demanding first placement, enhance my subject knowledge and to experiment with ideas to help me find my own teaching style.

Bring on 2017!!

**- Simon Pegg**