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How to retrain in Maths

Discussion in 'Career clinic' started by andyguildford, Jul 9, 2017.

  1. andyguildford

    andyguildford New commenter

    I have been teaching Music in the UK since 2002 and am looking to make the move into Maths: given cutbacks in Music and shortages in Maths this seems a sensible move to make. I have an A-grade in A-level Maths which, I believe, entitles me to teach up the GCSE. I would - ideally - like to extend this to A-level.

    I'm aware of SKE (Subject Knowledge Enhancement) courses but I wondered if there were any other routes worth considering?
  2. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    There is no such thing as an "entitlement to teach up to...", although it may seem reasonable to consider that you could teach up to the level below the highest level qualification you have. I have on occasion been asked to teach subjects in which I have no qualification.
    What you have to do is to persuade a head that you are capable of teaching the subject, possibly in conjunction with taking a course to find out how to teach the subject.
    Maths is a shortage subject so your chances are better.
    Have you looked at the mathematical association website?
  3. muso2

    muso2 Occasional commenter Community helper

    If your current school haven't already finalised timetables for next year (unlikely now, but possible), let it be known that you are looking to broaden your experience and take on any maths lessons they still need to cover.
    You could also speak to the head of maths and whoever is in charge of CPD and see what experience or opportunities they might be able to offer. For example, if you have extra non-contact contact time where you could occasionally observe/support maths lessons, or I think there is a course available if your school can see it would benefit them to have another maths teacher. If your current school don't have any need of more maths teachers, they might be less likely to support you in training for this.
  4. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    As a Maths supply I've been riding the gravy train since Christmas because there's no other alternatives. I'm sure your school would rather have a volunteer over a press-ganged RE teacher, for instance.

    Then again can you put up with the pain of seeing your beloved subject suffering due to press-ganged RE teachers being dumped there instead. A change of school might be more palatable in that case.
  5. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    I suspect that many schools would see an A at A-level as more than what is needed to teacher GCSE. You woul dneed to convince them (and yourself) that your knowledge is up to date - perhaps visitng exam boards' websites might help. However, you may find it weasier to get KS3 to start with, moving on to GCSE once you have proved yourself. Good luck!

    For A-level, this might help. http://mei.org.uk/tam .
    pepper5 and grumpydogwoman like this.
  6. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Just familiarise yourself with the curriculum. You're more than qualified. Frankly they'd entertain the thought of employing an ape with an abacus in some schools.
    PRUman, drvs, ViolaClef and 3 others like this.
  7. CheeseMongler

    CheeseMongler Lead commenter

    Wonderful mental image.
    ViolaClef likes this.
  8. ViolaClef

    ViolaClef Lead commenter

    This is the crux of it. You know how to teach - you've been doing it, you say, since 2002; you presumably feel confident about teaching Maths and enjoyed and understood it at school. I don't think you need to do any special training beyond that which will come your way as part of the Maths Department team. Within that team and with the guidance of a good HOD I imagine you would be fine.
  9. drvs

    drvs Star commenter

    They would, but even an ape with an abacus wouldn't want to teach in them :)
  10. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    Indeed. Meet you new teacher boys ad girls... Now on with the mokytis(ing)!

    grumpydogwoman likes this.
  11. drvs

    drvs Star commenter

    In most schools they can be found in the cupboard with the rocking horse poop :D
    grumpydogwoman likes this.
  12. hammie

    hammie Lead commenter

    just beware, you could easily find yourself "teaching" a string of bottom set and badly behaved groups of key stage 3 pupils. Some schools will treat you fairly, others HODs will keep the best sets to themselves (after all they will get the best GCSE results if they teach all the top sets) and give all the part timers everything they don't want to teach. Ask any supply teacher how often this happens to them too! So do have an in depth detailed conversation about exactly what the school will use you for.
  13. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    I echo everything hammie says. You are likely to get a lot of the bottom sets for all the reasons hammie states and much of the behaviour can be challenging. The students find it hard to concentrate on learning maths concepts and many are unmotivated.
  14. KKaupa

    KKaupa New commenter

    Hi Andy,

    There may be a TSST (teaching subject specialism training) course in your local area, which will look at developing your Maths knowledge?

    Maths and Music can be a great pairing - I'm thinking time signatures, note values etc!

    Are you currently in post at the moment?
  15. September

    September New commenter

    Some of the Maths hubs are running Summer schools for re-trainers. You could see if there is one in your area.

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