My First Experiences of Teaching Maths

Olivia HomeI delivered my first lesson this week!

My first experience with teaching was positive; I was very lucky to do my first lesson with a great Year 7 class who were eager to learn. I enjoyed teaching them immensely and it was great to have those moments where you see them understand and explore the maths. This set is also a bottom set, so the range of their mathematical abilities is staggered – it ranges from some understanding every word I say to not knowing how to multiply two-digit numbers together.

This range may be seen as a negative for some but I love the challenge and teaching them has really pushed me to put across mathematical ideas slowly, carefully and precisely. I hope also that my teaching is paving the way for them to look at maths in a positive light and is chipping away at a potentially harmful, resentful attitude they may have built up against mathematics.

Despite this being my first ever lesson, having completed it is not what I am most proud of! In this Year 7 class is a student with ADHD who is easily distracted, likes to play with things around him and doesn't write anything unless prompted several times to do so. He's like this in all lessons I've watched regardless of the teacher/pupils/environment/subject. In my first lesson he took part in the board game I had devised that involved students working in pairs, whereby they asked each other a question on the new topic I'd taught. When students completed their questions, they were also writing their answers down in their books, so I could walk around to see what they had done. I was so pleased to walk around to see that he took part in the board game and answered all the questions. Thus, without intending to, I'd found a possible way forward with him - collaborative pair work in the form of a game meant that his participation was necessary as his partner is relying on him to read the questions out etc. for the board game to progress.

Although of course it was an accidental, it was a great feeling and, as the expression goes, gave me my first ‘small success’ as a teacher!

By Olivia Home