Hannah H.

Maths Teacher
Happy to mentor
Happy to be contacted

About me

Hannah H.
PGCE Mathematics
Taught Postgraduate
United Kingdom

My employment

Maths Teacher
Secondary School
United Kingdom

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A day in the life of a Maths Teacher in the United Kingdom

I always knew teaching was going to be a challenging, varied, and interesting career - every day is really different and I constantly have chances to progress and learn more in my career.

Briefly describe the organisation you work for

I work at a large comprehensive secondary school in North Yorkshire.

What do you do?

I teach Maths, Statistics, Core Maths and A level Maths to 11-18 year olds, and have taught in local primary schools as well as part of an outreach programme. I also train other teachers, working as a mentor to ITT and NQT students, as well as running workshops for staff at my own and other schools.

Reflecting upon your past employment and education, what led you to your current career choice?

I remember doing A levels myself at school and realising I was good at explaining concepts to the other students, and had already thought of teaching as a possible career for myself - coming from a family of teachers! I then went on to do a Mathematics and Psychology degree at the University of St Andrews (keeping my options open by doing a Joint Honours degree), and decided to do a PGCE in Maths at the University of York after I finished my Undergraduate Degree. This was a great decision, and really helped me realise teaching was the career choice for me.

Is your current job sector different from what you thought you would enter when you graduated?

I always knew teaching was going to be a challenging, varied, and interesting career - every day is really different and I constantly have chances to progress and learn more in my career.

Describe your most memorable day at work

I think my favourite parts of teaching has to be working with students who, at first, are a challenge but through hard work and determination go on to have success and learn things they never thought possible. I have a collection of Thank You cards and messages from previous students which are amongst my favourite possessions.

Working with other teachers is also really rewarding; collaborating and supporting them with their own professional learning. You also learn a lot yourself by teaching others!

Are there any challenges associated with your job?

Many! There are days when I have cried, classes that are a challenge to motivate, students, staff and parents who are difficult to deal with... But that makes it more worthwhile when things go well. And the positives massively outweigh those days.

What extracurricular activities did you undertake at university and what transferable skills did you develop through these?

I have always been in orchestras and bands throughout my life - I was in the University of York Community Orchestra whilst in York. Playing music allows me to zone out of the world of work/study and enables me to get lost in the music that I am playing for a few hours. We also went on a music tour to Leuven in Belgium during the summer term of my PGCE after my placements had finished. I also played for the college Darts Team after being persuaded by a friend to give it a go! Our PGCE group was also very close-knit, and we regularly met up for drinks, pool, and film nights.

What top tips do you have for York students preparing for today’s job market and life after graduation?

Keep in touch with people you spent time with in University - having a network of friends and colleagues is really important. They might also lead you to job opportunities that you've not thought of!
My first teaching job was at a school that I had never heard of, in a new area, where I didn't know anyone. I only applied to it for "interview experience" but ended up loving working there! I would say take opportunities for interviews, applicant days etc. even if you are not 100% sure of the job. Your impression might change once you visit the workplace and meet the people you will be working with. A good team of colleagues is really important!

Next steps...

If you like the look of Hannah’s profile, the next steps are down to you! You can send Hannah a message to find out more about their career journey. If you feel you would benefit from more in-depth conversations, ask Hannah to be your mentor.

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