What advice would you give someone considering a career as a secondary mathematics teacher?

Becoming a maths teacher was something I deliberated about for years, however didn’t really start seriously pursuing until my final year of university. If you’re still deciding whether it’s the right option, a lot of the information you will need is on the Get into Teaching website. This provided me with a lot of useful links and even pointed me in the direction of the Maths Scholarship. I read blogs from teachers about their experiences, I looked at career aspects, and most importantly, the website told me exactly how to apply and when. Additionally, I researched the university websites that I was considering which have a lot of information to help guide you, including a course overview. Finally, the UCAS website has heaps of useful information about teaching and what your role would be.

Having some first-hand experience of what a modern-day classroom is like can give you an idea whether this is the career you’d like to do. Maybe try and get some school experience at a local school for a week if you can. Not only will you be able to interact with students and see how impactful teaching is, it will look great on your application if you haven’t already applied. Furthermore, it gives you an opportunity to speak to people in the profession who can talk you through their experiences and help you with your decision.

Before I started the course, I tutored for a few months, which helped me gain my subject knowledge back. You’d be surprised how easy it is to forget things like surds and angles when you don’t use them every day. Having a good subject knowledge of GCSE maths is a key part of the course and teaching content you’re comfortable with is a lot easier, so getting ahead and reminding yourself of the content is a good start. Furthermore, it gives you the opportunity to work closely with students and help them achieve their goals. The experience of working with students in a classroom style environment really helped my decision as it showed me how influential you are to the students, how your knowledge can be shared, and you can see what your role would be.

I’d like to finish with just some fulfilling experiences I've had in the classroom this term which confirmed I made the right decision, which may inspire your own choice.

1. Seeing a student’s happy dance when they’ve finally answered the hard questions
2. Having a quiet student come to the board and attempt to solve a question
3. Students being excited to come to your lessons
4. Watching the confidence grow in your class and see their skills develop

By Hannah Chander

Find Hannah on Instagram as @hannah_chander.


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