How I found the Mathematics Test part of my Online Assessment

My degree is in economics and I have worked in finance for the past 8 years so applying to be a Maths teacher was a little daunting but equally so exciting; I am finally pursuing a career and subject that I have such passion for!  For me when applying for the Maths Scholarship my primary concern was my subject knowledge however thankfully by the time it came to my interview I had completed my 16-week SKE and felt pretty equipped to discuss a range of topics. 

The whole application and assessment process were extremely smooth:

The panel were very friendly and built up lovely rapport from the start. 
There was continuous clear communication with the scholarship department.
I knew exactly what was expected of me and what to expect on the day of the assessment
The topics for discussion were engaging and interesting 

I was asked to discuss with a year 9 class why they needed to learn frequency tables.  Statistics was my least favourite topic at school, I found it dull and never expected that I would ever use it!  How wrong I was given that I worked in finance for so long. I tried to bring in engaging real life examples so students could see its place beyond the classroom.  When students can apply context to the concept it becomes more relatable to them.  

I also enjoyed discussing the “importance of introducing students to the diversity of people involved in mathematics”.  This really got me thinking. I enjoyed researching different mathematicians and looking at how this can inspire students.  I have found this beneficial to me now on my PGCE course looking at the importance of diversity, inclusion and equality in schools. 

I know that it is easy to say in hindsight but whether the assessment is online or in person, try to enjoy the experience. You will learn a lot through your own research and preparation and also from the interview panel. Remember that the panel wants you to do well so be engaged and friendly and open to asking your own questions.

Maire McDevitt


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