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A maths scholarship is a great opportunity

Teaching maths for the first time can feel intimidating for new teachers.

 I think that having a mentor or person to confide in is very helpful. I believe that teacher turnover results from feeling isolated, feeling unable to share struggles with a neutral party, and feeling that making mistakes means we as teachers were "not meant to be in the profession".

The joy of teaching for me comes from knowing that I will always be learning and that my job will never get boring as long as I strive to be a better teacher. Carol Dweck from Stanford in the US describes the growth mindset which must be at the forefront of any successful teacher's ideology.

William Arthur Ward has a quote that's worth remembering:

" The mediocre teacher tells, the good teacher explains, the superior teacher demonstrates, the great teacher inspires."

It seems that many teachers stop at explaining, thinking this is "good enough." Perhaps I can provide some testimonials from my first year teaching so prospective scholarship recipients would understand the beauty that lies within the challenges. I would really enjoy speaking with others about what works well and what doesn't always work.

 I received a scholarship myself for teaching math in high needs schools (urban or rural) called the Noyce Scholarship. Through being a scholar, I received a lot of additional support that some of the other student teachers in my cohort did not receive. When it comes to teaching, I feel that students have what it takes to learn math as long as the teacher can build relationships and hold the students to high expectations while being supportive and nurturing. It is still very possible to have a rigorous program with students who have less ability. I have a standardized test in my school district that has essentially placed my students across 5 grade levels. This requires a lot of "differentiation" to address the individual needs of the students.

Although it is a challenge, I find it very rewarding when I can have all students grow in their understanding despite their previous ‘ability’ according to standardised tests.

I love to play the guitar, solve the Rubik's Cube and logic puzzles and I try to integrate these into my lessons. It helps students see a different side of their teacher.

If you’d like to apply for a maths scholarship to teach in UK schools you can do that right here.

Dan Van der Vieren graduated in 2010 with a Bachelor's Degree in mathematics from Regis University in Denver, Colorado. He spent two years teaching fundamental mathematics at the community college level before realizing he wanted to teach math to secondary students. Dan currently teaches grades 7-12 at a small public school in Colorado and is the owner and head tutor of his business, Raising The Bar Academic Coaching. He is a self-published author of the Run-To-Reference: Foundational Mathematics manual as well as a TED-Ed educator who co-created "Can You Solve Einstein's Riddle?" He can be contacted at dvandervieren@weldonvalley.org or on Twitter via @RTBCoaching.

There are a whole host of reasons to become a Maths Scholar so why not register your interest now and adopt a different angle in 2016. Everything you need to know about this year's maths scholarship scheme is here.We look forward to hearing from you. May the square root be with you!

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