I have a confession to make. I started as a secondary PE teacher.
There, I said it. Some skeletons should stay in the closet, sometimes it’s better to get the skeleton out before someone discovers it and drags it out in full view.
Why did I end up teaching maths?
Well, in some ways it was a pure accident, in some ways it was always going to be my destiny.
I was one one of those tiny percentage (see can’t get away from maths terminology) of pupils who found it an easy subject to grasp, and was always incredulous that others found it trickier. I turned down the opportunity to study maths at University to choose Physical Education (maths was a subject I studied as a subsidiary subject in my degree before you panic!) I turned down a chance to train as a Chartered Accountant to work in health clubs.
So I followed what many people considered the easier life (they were right, I admit it, another skeleton being dragged out of an increasingly large closet) than what I was great at.
However I had a passion for teaching, and particularly a passion for teaching PE, and I found I was pretty good at it! Now the accident bit….
After a slightly late challenge by one of my Year 11 footballers I found myself upside down with a dislocated acromio-clavicular joint, trying not to show any emotion in front of 20+ hardened 16 year olds. Within days I had realised that it would affect the way I taught PE forever and that I might need to reassess my future.
At the same time a position to teach maths in a SpLd unit within the school came up, I was tempted, 6-7 kids at a time rather than 30+ (easy life rearing it’s head again) I was good at maths, they weren’t, it would be easy, I thought.
How wrong could I be. Within the first week of teaching 11-16 year olds who had very little ability in maths all my preconceived ideas of how maths should be taught had to be ripped up.
The first week I met Tommy, a boy who completely changed my approach to teaching maths over the years.
- Ofsted: Maths teaching must improve (express.co.uk)
- Ofsted: bright children failed by poor maths lessons (telegraph.co.uk)
- Are you qualified to teach my child? (kipmcgrathashford.wordpress.com)