Taking the leap to change my career and train to become a teacher was a big decision for me. When an opportunity was presented in front of me at my old workplace, it was time to think about what I wanted to do with my life and where I saw myself in a few years’ time. In the back of my mind was a reminder of that rewarding feeling I felt when teaching abroad in China six years ago. I had such a great time teaching out there, I even went back for a second time! This experience, my university placement and other school exposures confirmed my decision to apply for teacher training for 2020-2021.
But why Mathematics? There are several experiences that have inspired me to want to teach Mathematics, coupled with the subject being so integral to students in their future endeavours. The challenge of the subject is what inspires me, and what makes it such an interesting and satisfying subject to teach. My previous data-driven and stats-heavy job reignited my passion for the subject from my school days. Although I do not hold a degree in Mathematics, I knew I wanted to teach this multifaceted subject to inspire students, build self-belief and show that the subject can most definitely be for anyone. To do this, I knew I had to grab the opportunity to learn to become an inspiring teacher and share the satisfying feeling of working through mathematical problems with students.
Despite feeling overwhelmed, I was willing to work on my subject knowledge having enrolled on a Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) course, which was part of my conditional offer. My SKE course gave me great opportunities to be self-reflective, whilst building upon my fascination around the relationships between data and numbers, and making me think like a student again. After completing the course, I felt much more comfortable with the curriculum and my own capabilities. The thing about Mathematics is that it is not just about the topics within the curriculum that is important for the students, but the whole hog of skills that they learn alongside it. For example, problem solving, applying knowledge to new situations, reasoning, adopting a methodical approach are all key skills learnt through practicing Mathematics. As a trainee teacher of Mathematics, I want to learn to not only motivate students to build upon their knowledge for future careers, but also support and help them shape their skill set for successful futures in the highly competitive world we live in today.