Maths teaching what’s the secret?
Things I know now I wish I’d known then
I am now over two-thirds of the way to finishing my year of training before starting as a full-time, qualified teacher in September. Just typing those words sends a chill down my spine because this year has gone so quickly. However I do feel like I’ve learnt so much.
Saying that though, I do have mixed feelings about starting my teaching career in September; it is a mixture of experiencing both fear and excitement. But I have to remind myself that every teacher has been there. What I attempt to do in this blog is to share a couple of things that I know now that I wish I’d known at the start of my training year. Saying that, now I know them it will be good to start afresh in September.
Firstly, one of the main things that I’ve learnt to understand this year is that, as a teacher, I am never always going to get things right. Some lessons have been amazing and everything has gone the way I wanted it to go. The feeling you get after a lesson like that reminds you why you decided to become a teacher in the first place.
But then there will always be those lessons that don’t go to plan, sometimes because things happen that are out of your control (like a fire drill for example). On the other hand you might have planned material that was a bit too easy. That means the students rush through it and your lesson only lasts half the time. It’s a matter of getting to know the pace, their standards, capabilities and so on. Sometimes of course, you pitch things that are just too hard and everyone “falls out with you” for it. The great thing about teaching is that every lesson can be treated as a fresh start and I’ve learnt that reflecting on previous lessons to improve my teaching is imperative. In fact reflective and reflexive practice are great assets when it comes to teaching and learning.
Another thing that I know now that I wish I’d known at the start is how important the planning stage of a lesson is. If you plan a lesson that you’re confident with, that is pitched at the right level and that will engage the students, then managing the classroom will take less effort. Students will enjoy the lesson and it will give them less reason to lose concentration and disturb your teaching and the learning of other students.
That is just a snapshot of what I’ve learnt over this year, but I know that the journey is far from over and there is so much more to learn and progress in as a teacher.
Daniel Lloyd is a Maths Scholar. If you would like to train to be a Maths Teacher then you can begin your journey towards gaining a Maths Scholars Scholarship award right here. We have a wealth of information, tips and resources on our website. You can find materials to help you with the Maths Scholars scholarship award application process so it is successful, or attending a Maths Scholars interview. So what are you waiting for? Apply now.