I am a highly qualified maths tutor with 13 years teaching experience in both mainstream schools and specialist provisions teaching ages 10-19 covering content from KS2 and Functional Skills to AS Further Maths. Throughout my career I have honed my skills in working with students with SEN; specifically Autism, ADHD, Dyslexia, Dyscalculia and SEMH. Further to completing a Maths degree and PGCE I completed a Masters in Social Research where I worked with adults with learning disabilities to understand how different environment impacted their learning throughout their lives.
I begun teaching in 2008 after completing a BSc in Mathematics and Education Studies followed by a PGCE in Secondary Mathematics. I initially worked at a mainstream (11-16) secondary school for 2 years before moving to teach at (16-19) sixth form college for a further 3. During these years I delivered the full range of the Maths curriculum at all ability levels. Within this I gained specific experience of working with and supporting a variety of individuals with specific learning disabilities as well as students who required additional support to achieve accelerated learning. This was at secon... Read More
I begun teaching in 2008 after completing a BSc in Mathematics and Education Studies followed by a PGCE in Secondary Mathematics. I initially worked at a mainstream (11-16) secondary school for 2 years before moving to teach at (16-19) sixth form college for a further 3. During these years I delivered the full range of the Maths curriculum at all ability levels. Within this I gained specific experience of working with and supporting a variety of individuals with specific learning disabilities as well as students who required additional support to achieve accelerated learning. This was at secondary level and included Functional Skills, GCSE, AS and A2.
Following these roles I focussed for 2 years on maths intervention for both pupil premium students and students with SEN. The experience advanced my skills at working with students as unique individuals and my ability to adapt my practice to best support the person in front of me to stretch, challenge and address misconceptions. Furthermore the experience has lead me to develop a conversational approach to tutoring in order to ensure students are accurately describing their understanding of different mathematical tools. This has proved particularly successful in improving the confidence of students with SEN as a common problem is the barrier of accurately communicating their ability to others.
Whilst focussing on intervention teaching I completed a Masters in Social Research at UCL’s Institute of Education. During this I worked extensively with Adults with learning disabilities to understand the times and places where they had been successful in learning. The purpose of this was to identify common themes and highlight potential barriers that need to be avoided. The conclusions were that successful learning was largely dependent on the ability for students to learn in an environment free from shame, where they viewed the work as age appropriate and they could identify their success via a product or verbal recognition. The relationship between the students and the teacher was of upmost importance as frequently participants would feel so strongly the need to prove themselves they were frightened to express opinions out of fear of being incorrect. Following this I always ensure my sessions are appropriately pitched and use my extensive experience and knowledge of the maths curriculum to adapt and alter the levels of challenge in real time to ensure students leave sessions feeling successful. This has enabled students to alter their self belief, providing the confidence to approach complex material than they would never have previously anticipated.
My most recent in school role has been as head of maths for 3 years at an Alternative Provision for students with Autism or SEMH (social, emotion and mental health), where students have had additional learning requirements including ADHD, Dyslexia and Dyscalculia. This has further developed my skills in gaining student trust and building their confidence in my ability to be their teacher, in spite of their previous negative experiences of the education system. One key trick, beyond empathy and a consistent presence, has been to reteach the number topics they will have experienced, possible unsuccessfully, through the introduction of algebra, which students intrinsically identify as being advanced. This then ensures the students’ trust that you respect their ability and later allows you to introduce areas such as shapes, which they may intrinsically believe are beneath them. This method proved to be highly successful and enabled many students at the school to both actively engage with lessons as well as achieve exam success in the IGCSE.
Alongside teaching in schools I have also undertaken one to one tuition with multiple students from ages 10-18, where I have worked with clients for up to 4 years. During this time I have aided students to unlock their potential to move up sets as well as feel confident in their own abilities and achieve academic success. Alongside teaching to the curriculum I also have experience of using a variety of different games which build skills in non-verbal reasoning which develop skills in logic and spatial awareness that frequently need to be developed through self discovery. In my sessions I will challenge students to struggle with questions where they may need to make a small cognitive leap, monitoring when this is beneficial, but always ensuring their final experience of the lesson is positive.
I offer the unique combination of a calming yet enthusiastic presence alongside the reassurance of excellent subject knowledge and a track record of high achievement which enables students to feel comfortable in honest discussion surrounding their maths comprehension.
I believe that successful teaching is dependent on the ability of the teacher to develop a learning environment where the student feels safe and confident to express themselves and the teacher is able to guide the student through the required content at an appropriate pace.
I am a strong advocate for a firm understanding of Zones of Proximal Development, where teachers can successfully breakdown their subject to ensure that students are already equipped with the knowledge required to be able to extend. Through the solid understanding of the content they are delivering teachers are able to avoid making the learning experience stressful and ensure that students feel confident and grow to feel successful within their subject, in turn increasing the students enthusiasm to take the subject further.