A few odds and ends about me and this blog.
Who am I? My name’s Cath Brown, and I am a secondary school maths (mainly) teacher. I’m also a “leisure” OU student – my main focus is chemistry, but have strayed into physics, engineering and even history. If you’re an OU student too, you may have come across me on some of the OUSA forums and OU Facebook groups as I tend to have a lot to say for myself!
What’s the blog for? Hopefully it will add a little to your picture of the life of a teacher – it’s meant to be helpful to OU students considering or aiming for teaching. So it’ll be a mixture of an account of what I’ve been doing at work from day to day, with some general thoughts on teaching, schools and education. Oh, and a few rants…
How I ended up teaching: Well, I’m really a very poor example to all you career-minded folks out there. I started a PhD after finishing my maths degree but dropped out after a year (largely because I hadn’t really thought about what I was doing and why I was doing it before I started). Then I thought “who’ll give me a job?” I took a post at a tutorial college teaching A-level maths, on the basis that it would bring some money in while I figured out what I really wanted to do with my life. I managed to faff around – still teaching, but still trying to figure out what to do! – for some time after, and eventually decided that yes, I really was a teacher around 7 years later (having moved from London to Birmingham meanwhile), and decided to do a PGCE at that stage.
My current job: I’ve been at my current school since 2004 and have managed to get my fingers in an awful lot of pies… As well as teaching (mainly maths, and more A-level than anything else, but also at various points chemistry, physics, and the “research methods” part of A-level psychology), I am also involved in writing UCAS references, doing university mock interviews, coordinating the AQA Extended Project, running our internal and external exams, writing the timetable and managing academic data. On the extracurricular side, I help with organising the Team Maths Challenge, Engineering Club and a “stretch and challenge” session focusing on fun physics problems.
New! Have just made it to Twitter – it’s @AccidentlTeachr