"I thought “wow”. Here was an opportunity to learn more about teaching while I was studying"

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09 October 2017

Victoria tells us about her life before the programme, and why becoming a Future Teaching Scholar was right for her.

Before applying to university this year, I was actually a stay-at-home mum. I have a two-year-old and a three-year-old and I’ve been quite busy enough for the past three years. Since my maternity leave began, however, I missed using my powers of intellect (it is patience which is the most practised skill in raising small children, differentiation doesn’t help). Since 2014, I have studied a few modules in mathematics with the Open University. The choice was easy for me, as I have always enjoyed studying maths. In the evenings, I beavered away and found that my mathematical knowledge was easily brought up-to-date.

I’ve known I wanted to work with young people for quite some time. I worked in a nursery before having children, and I volunteered with teenagers who were having a tough time with life. So whilst I studied in the evenings I also began to volunteer as a tutor and it clicked: I wanted to teach. I began by looking into unqualified teaching routes but found little opportunity (after all, teaching is really a graduate career). I committed to applying to full-time university to do maths, with a view that I would then apply to do a PGCE or salaried ITT year once I graduated. It was actually after I had applied to university that I discovered the Future Teaching Scholars programme. UCAS sent me an email about it and I thought “wow”. Here was an opportunity to learn more about teaching while I was studying.

I’ve barely scratched the surface of the programme yet, but already I’m excited. To hear teachers talking so passionately at the conference in September was amazing. It’s made me realise that I know very little about teaching and I was totally inspired with all I heard. The first module is really interesting and I feel very lucky that I will have a good deal of experience in a classroom before ITT- the thought of going straight from university into ITT, with little preparation, was daunting. The grant is also useful - for me, it eases the financial pressure of a big childcare bill while I study. It’s nice to go to university knowing the purpose of my degree at the end of it - I’ve barely started my degree but I’m working towards a successful career already.

Have I got what it takes?

Have I got what it takes?

  • Are you passionate about maths or physics?
  • Do you enjoy solving problems?
  • Do you work well with other people?
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