Name: Elly Edmondson
Course: Mathematics Enhancement Course and PGCE Mathematics
I am going into teaching as a second career; however, it is something I have always had in mind to do throughout my adult life. Whilst at school, I studied Mathematics to A-Level and then went on to complete a three-year degree in Mechanical Engineering at Imperial College in London. At the same time, I joined the Royal Air Force, who sponsored me through university, and served for 20 years as an Engineer Officer. Although, I had many great experiences in the RAF, I realised I was entering a phase in my career where I was going to be increasingly desk bound and removed from the front line which did not appeal so much. The time was right to move on and try something new, and hence I committed myself to the challenge of entering the teaching profession. Having always enjoyed and been enthusiastic about maths, and I knew that it the subject I wanted to teach. Obviously, having been out of the academic world for many years and not having a degree in Mathematics, I was initially very concerned that I might not have the right qualifications in order to pursue this route and that my maths would be very rusty. That is where the Mathematics Enhancement Course (MEC) came in!
The MEC was absolutely the best preparation I could have done for the PGCE Mathematics. The sessions are delivered by tutors with a wide mix of experience as school teachers and as current university lecturers. The course gave me confidence in my mathematical abilities and re-instilled in me an enthusiasm for the subject. Also, the opportunity to study with other like-minded students has been immensely enjoyable and invaluable. On starting the PGCE, I already had a network of support around me from students and tutors to the learning centre and café staff! This is a real advantage over other PGCE subject courses and means you can ‘hit the ground running’ right from the outset.
I recommend the MEC highly to any prospective teacher of mathematics. Even if you feel really confident in your subject knowledge, doing maths is one thing but teaching it is quite another! I am convinced that if I had not done the MEC before embarking on the PGCE, I would be really struggling at this stage, especially having not worked in a school environment before.