Why I Applied - By Toby Bignell

The scholarship was initially advertised to me by a university friend as extra money for teacher training and on the surface, that is what it is and what drew me to investigate and apply. These extra funds allowed me to be able to purchase extra resources and books I would need to equip myself for teacher life and my studies. It also allowed me to save extra money for the first time in my adult life to enable me to prepare for the possibility of not having to rent housing for the foreseeable future. 

Upon looking more into the scholarship and what it offers, there is a lot more than what I originally thought and there is a plethora of extra professional bodies that as a scholar you are granted membership to. Through these there is a wide range of extra resources such as free magazines and online journals which help greatly with ideas and activities for teaching, there are also articles and journals available which are great for reading to help with assignments, PGCE essays and for general CPD. Through these extra professional bodies, there is also an opportunity to get some post-nominal letters for instance AMIMA (Associate member of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications). I have definitely made use of those by including them on my twitter account which is linked to this blog entry. 

There are also many CPD events throughout the year which are all free and exclusive to scholars. The events are across the country and to start are a perfect opportunity to visit new places and network with other trainee maths teachers who are scholars. This was part of the deciding factors for me when applying as the events offer extra knowledge to impact teaching practice with more of a deep focus on mathematics not offered through core training. They also give bonus evidence of teaching standards that trainees who aren’t scholars don’t have access to. Through the CPD, you also get free resources to use in the classroom as well as other ideas for resources from fellow scholars. 

In conclusion what made me apply for the scholarship ended up not really primarily being about the extra funding, that was more of a bonus to me. The scholarship as a whole wasn’t something to me that is quantifiable in terms of money and the reason I was eager to apply was because of the extra experience it would give me during my teacher training year that I may not have the opportunity to do during my career as a teacher. Also, I felt that the prestige of being a scholar is something to give me the edge over other candidates when going for a teaching position at the end of my training year who may not have applied. 

By Toby Bignell
Twitter: @BignellMaths



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