Amanda CooperMaths

I have been teaching for 20 years and during that time I have held many roles in school including Advanced Skills Teacher, Curriculum Team Leader and Senior Vice Principal.  I studied Maths and Statistics at the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne before completing my teacher training in York.  I have always enjoyed maths as I like the fact that it is either right or wrong. I make sure my teaching is inclusive for all learners and aim for my students learn to love the subject as much as I do.

Should I be concerned about subject knowledge prior to starting the course?

Having good subject knowledge will always put you in a good position in maths teaching however you can learn it as you go along.  From year to year as maths teachers we don’t always teach every element of the curriculum because we may not have the groups that need it so it is not unusual to find a maths teacher working through some questions from the book in advance of teaching a topic they feel a bit out of practice with. Learning maths is like getting fit, the more you do it the easier you find it.

How are the subject knowledge sessions structured?

The subject knowledge sessions are based around the Friday morning generic sessions where we look at how to make the learning specific to maths, and they are based around the Trainees’ subject knowledge  audits.  I use these audits to see where the gaps are in subject knowledge and we aim to then fill the gaps over the  course the year.  I will show you websites I use for planning, the best resources for delivering topics in the classroom as well teach you the bits you do not know.  I give trainees exam questions to practice on as well as ideas for starters to engage learners and effective techniques to assess the learning that has taken place.

How do you help trainees across the subject areas gain employment?

I can help Trainees reflect on the type of school they are best suited to and then help with the application process and preparation for interview.  I run a mock interview session and a letter of application session.

Why do you enjoy working with trainees?

Working with Trainees is always a rewarding experience.  I love hearing how things are going at the placement schools and will always encourage Trainees to evaluate their experiences and think about how they can apply that learning the following week.  Being a  Trainee teacher requires resilience, determination, resourcefulness, adaptability plus a whole host of other attributes.  I enjoy coaching Trainees through the highs and the lows of learning to teach.

What the trainees say…

‘The subject mentor sessions are organised so well.  The teacher is amazing.  The sessions don’t waste any time at all.  The sessions really do work.  I am amazed at how much I am learning about maths.  The teacher has a passion for the subject and really motivates the learning process.  I couldn’t be any happier than I am with the mentor.’

‘When my subject leader came to my placement school to observe me teach a lesson in phase 1 she had a calming and supportive presence.  She offered lots of constructive ways for me and my subject mentor to improve.’



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