My Experience of Maths Through School

What are my thoughts about mathematics as a learner?

In primary school, I don’t remember finding maths overly hard or something which I didn’t enjoy doing. I was good at keeping up with the workload from my teacher and always completed my homework. It wasn’t until high school when our year was split into ability-based classes that I began to really struggle. Throughout high school, I was very fortunate to have dedicated teachers who were willing to put in extra time and effort often staying after school to help pupils. I was bused into school and therefore it was sometimes awkward to get a lift home if both my parents were working.

As I began national 5 maths I quickly realised the importance of passing the subject in order to apply for education at university. After failing my prelim I knew I had to work on improving my maths before I left it too late. My parents were very supportive and I ended up getting a tutor who came to my house once a week.  Before long I was quickly picking it up and actually began to enjoy maths again. I like to understand how things work and the one to one support with her was extremely helpful as she could explain things in more depth than my teacher could. I sat my national 5 exam and it turned out to be one of my best results. This gave me the confidence to sit higher maths and I ended up with the same teacher. I passed my driving test and therefore it was much easier for me to stay after school for extra support. It frustrated me that I wasn’t able to pick up higher maths as easy as national 5 but I kept working at it regardless. My teacher was very understanding and was good at showing me different methods to complete questions. I received my results and it was to my great delight that I got a B for my higher maths. It was very obvious that my teacher cared about our results and even though she had a young family she organised after school child care so she could help my class. I am very grateful for the support and the time she gave up for me.

Although maths wasn’t my favorite subject in school I hope I can be a confident teacher and support my pupils to help them through their own challenges with the subject.

Why Primary Teaching?

Why would you want to be a primary teacher? A question I am asked all the time. “You’ll be stressed” and “do you know how many extra hours you will have to work after school” are usually what they tell me. Teaching might not be everybody’s cup of tea but I want a job that’s exciting and where no two days are the same.

I went to small rural primary school consisting of around 70 pupils where everyone knew everyone. I still to this date could name everyone who I was at school with including all the teachers and staff. I often meet my old teachers who are always keen for a chat and love to hear about what is going on in my life. I can only imagine how proud they must feel knowing they helped shape all our futures.

I always knew I wanted to have a career working with others however I liked too many of my subjects at school to single out just one to focus on at university. Throughout school, I always enjoyed a wide variety of courses especially art, geography and p.e and I tried to take part in as many extra opportunities in my spare time as possible. I found that leading and caring for people is something that I am extremely passionate about.

Through many voluntary opportunities I found myself really excelling in working with others especially children and enjoyed every minute of helping them improve and achieve new things. The look on their faces when they finally ‘get it’ is just priceless and makes all time and effort worthwhile. From working with children of all ages and abilities I have been able to see that everyone learns in their own ways and at a pace that suits them best. Adapting lessons to suit everyone in my class are the types of challenges I look forward to when I am a teacher.