What inspired you to want to become a maths teacher?

Sian HylandEveryone has that one teacher that they remember from school. The one that ignited their passion and interest in a subject; the one that encouraged and installed them with the confidence to pursue their goals; the one whose enthusiasm for teaching made it exciting for them to learn. For me, that teacher taught me Maths from year 9 through to year 13. Because of them, I noticed the beautifully intricate ways that mathematics is all linked and how it presented itself around us in the real world. Maths was no longer just some random numbers and letters on a piece of paper, but now present in the supermarket when working out which bag of rice was more cost-effective, or in Edward Burne-Jones' ‘The Golden Stairs’ at Tate Britain.

I was fortunate enough to always enjoy going to school. In fact, I find – still to this day – a level of comfort in education: the daily routine, the challenge of a constantly changing to-do list, and the rewarding feeling when completing tasks and overcoming problems. There was only one phase in which I can remember feeling disengaged in my lessons: during my Key Stage 3 Maths lessons, I would regularly finish my class work quickly and subsequently get bored. My year 9 teacher, who was just starting their NQT year, noticed this and would push me to try NRICH exercises as extensions, which made me start to enjoy Maths.  Throughout the rest of my time in secondary school, and Sixth Form, I was lucky enough to have the same teacher in Maths each year.

Now, when reflecting upon my education and how it can aid me during my PGCE, I have realised that this teacher will act as a role model for how I wish to teach: to ignite fascination and interest through the use of resources such as NRICH and those provided by the Maths Scholarship; to encourage and install a confidence in students through discussion and the understanding that you do not have to always be right; and to radiate a passion for teaching that makes it intriguing to learn.

Fundamentally, I want to be able to use my personal experiences to help influence the young minds of today – to repay the enthusiasm and inspiration I felt when taught Maths by my secondary school tutor. Overall, the challenge of teacher training is a thrilling prospect for me, and one that I will commit myself to entirely, for I someday wish to be that one teacher that students will remember.

By Sian Hyland


Find Sian on Twitter as @shyland97


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