I have had inspirational mathematics teachers in the past, and I applied to do a PGCE in the year of 2015. Sadly, I was turned down, however I didn’t let this knock me down. I got back up and in 2017 I went back fighting. I wanted to prove to all those who had turned me down two years ago that I could do this, that I could be an excellent mathematics teacher. I gained a placement on the University of Wolverhampton’s secondary school teacher training PGCE. I also was awarded a teacher training scholarship ‘in recognition of [my] potential to be an inspirational teacher’. I was shocked when the news came, but also incredibly proud of myself. It is now two weeks into the course. My journey to become a teacher has only just started.

I am incredibly glad to be a scholar; Saturday 23 September I went to the celebratory event at Aston University. It was educational, inspiring and helpful. I got to meet other people who wanted to become teachers and others who were already teaching. There were some excellent resources to help us get started and into teaching including problem cards for starter activities, a foam apple for various functions (whoever has the apple is the only one who can talk for example), highlighters badges and notepads. The food was excellent too, I usually struggle with food due to my allergies but that day they had all the allergen information laid out before me.

The presenters were fantastic. They showed us how we could inspire pupils, make them think and get them excited with mathematics. Tom Briggs from Bletchley Park showed us how the Enigma machine worked and helped us make our own enigma machine. Hearing about a application of mathematics was a nice treat and showed me how I could make my class interesting while still maintaining the mathematical level of knowledge that was needed for the classroom. It also gave me ideas on how to treat a pupil. Always to remember to define exactly what you are doing multiple times, because young people easily mishear or forget. Being very precise with your instructions is a must.

My favourite speaker was Anne Fieldhouse who showed us how we could teach a lesson with just a few numbers and shapes, by letting the students control the class. Asking students to link together numbers in any way they wanted produced interesting results. Keeping the class engaged and debating between themselves. The mathematics that was discussed was all down to the pupils and it assessed their ideas and needs at the same time.

So now, I start at my placement school in two weeks armed with my various different problems, exercises and resources. I aim to be the best that I can be. Now it is my time to shine.

By M. H. Gooch