Maths Scholars, expectations and behaviour management
Lessons are like tadpoles
One thing I have learnt from my first week of teaching is that no matter how much you plan and prepare; the lesson never goes in the direction you anticipate. So many times I have deviated from the overall theme to ensure students understand everything that is going on with calculations: why we can do this; how we do that and so on.
Thank goodness for strong subject knowledge
Having a strong subject knowledge of the given topic definitely helps allow you to do this when students are a little confused or even for those who are a little more inquisitive than the others.
No one said it would be like this!
First time in front of a class was always going to be nerve racking one but having already structured the lesson, gave me the confidence to follow through firmly. I have loved every minute of being able to pass my own mathematical experiences onto the students giving my personal flare and taste; transferring my passion for the subject to them and hopefully inspiring them to see the importance of mathematics.
Behaviour management is always a thorny issue for all teachers
The most challenging thing I have found in my short experience is behaviour management. Getting the students to behave and listen has been quite frustrating. No matter how explicitly you tell them to follow simple instructions, sometimes you just get kids who just do not want to listen or participate. In particular the bottom sets are the most challenging, posing the question, are they in the set purely on their mathematical ability or is their attitude for learning a contributing factor as well?
I assumed teaching would not involve a lot of paperwork
I was aware there was some, just not as much as what I have already been exposed to. I overestimated how time consuming this was: marking; lesson plans; observations; homework etc. It is a little disheartening as I find myself spending more time actually preparing for lessons than delivering them; you feel you put all that effort in and then the lesson is over too quick. However, this has been one of the most eventful experiences of my life and I would not change it for the world. It has given me a little teaser of what is yet to come in my career and I cannot wait to embark on the journey fully.