Maths Scholars are people just like you

My name is Claire Little. As a new scholar, I was excited to travel to London in mid-September. There I would meet the other scholars and hear presentations from various professionals linked to the scheme at a Celebratory Event.

I had applied to be a scholar over the summer because I wanted to be part of a community of trainee teachers who could share ideas and experiences during the year.

Spending time listening to the experiences and views of other scholars during the day was extremely interesting and allowed me to broaden my understandings of the world of maths teaching.

I am on a core PGDE programme at the University of Sheffield, having graduated with a maths degree in June. However, the event allowed me to interact with scholars with different background subjects, with more experience in industry, at different universities and on different programmes.

Despite these differences, all of the scholars are enthusiastic about teaching mathematics and the discussions that we were able to have therefore proved very enlightening and interesting.

Maths is sweet

One part of the day was spent listening to a data analyst. He provided a very provocative insight into his work and the applications of mathematics. This reminded me about the excitement and usefulness of stats and provided some very stimulating examples. Although these could not be explained thoroughly in the classroom, it is useful to have insight from an industry expert. This is especially true of those that can be explained in a general way to learners to provide a broader understanding of the usefulness of maths.

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A couple of the other sessions provided activities that I plan to use in the classroom. Over lunch, we participated in an activity that involved modelling cost and profit in a company to decide the best strategy. This required algebra but in a real world scenario. It would definitely be good to use in the classroom to engage students and help them to understand the applications of maths. In the afternoon, we also did activities easily adapted to any class of any ability but were still fun for us as trainee teachers. For example, we played ‘odd one out’ and had to justify the answer. This was great because there was no right answer as long as the rule worked and encouraged us to be creative. In a maths classroom, this will be useful to reduce the anxiety of getting a ‘right’ answer.

Overall, the day was very enjoyable and informative through meeting other scholars and also the activities and presentations provided for us to use and take away for later.

If this has inspired you to become a Maths Scholar  apply now. Do follow us on Twitter or Facebook to keep up to date with exciting events, ideas, resources and chat. We look forward to welcoming you to the scheme now the 2017/17 applications are open.