Juggling Having A Young Family With Being A Maths Scholar
I had been thinking about becoming a maths teacher for some time but with two young children, I felt slightly apprehensive about applying for my PGCE. I finally took the plunge this year and was thrilled to be accepted onto the IMA Maths Teacher Training Scholarship scheme. After two months, how am I finding it?
It is certainly not for the faint-hearted. I studied for a part-time degree whilst working full time and I would say the PGCE seems like a comparable amount of work –planning, teaching, extra-curricular activities and the academic side of the course all add up.
My top tips to make it work, plan in your family time and make sure you stick with it. I try and have at least one day off at the weekend doing family things. On the flip side, I also plan in the time to do the academic part of the course, I head to the library for two hours a week, so I can work uninterrupted.
My mentor gave me some helpful tips to speed up the planning process – plan a sequence of lessons in one sitting instead of planning each one individually, use resources from online rather than creating your own – there is a wealth of websites to choose from. Make sure you can recognise when a plan is ‘good enough’, planning will fill as much time as you have available unless you know when to stop.
Take a thorough look at the maths curriculum before you start your placement and try to observe as many maths lessons as possible. You may know the material well, but it is useful to also see how maths is taught. It is also a fantastic opportunity to see what works for other teachers and to consider what sort of teacher that you might like to be.
Get into a routine as soon as possible, I stay at school until about 5pm each night and do all my planning and marking, that way when I get home the time is for myself and my family. I have a ‘to do’ app and I put everything that I need to do in it. You will be spinning a lot of plates in the beginning, and it is easy to forget something – this has saved something slipping my memory numerous times.
Make time to get involved in CPD events if you can. Time is precious, but these are well worth the time invested. I have met experienced maths teachers and maths trainees like myself and learnt so much that has improved my teaching and planning practice.
Finally, I am lucky enough to have dedicated support from my partner and extended family. Everyone has been digging a bit deeper to give me some extra time for work and study.
By Laura Corbett
Message from the Scholarship Team
You can apply to the Scholarships with a 2:2 degree classification, providing you can demonstrate 'significant relevant experience'. Also you can apply before completing your subject knowledge enhancement course. See our eligibility criteria on our About Us page and our FAQs.
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