National Debate About Teaching Maths and Physics

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One of our Maths teachers, Mr Shoyeb Memon, features in today's Independent and The i Paper in a promotion by the Teaching Agency about teaching Maths or Physics, after answering questions from Russ Thorne, a freelance journalist, about how he came into teaching and what he loves most about teaching his subject.

Mr Memon commented: ' I have always found Maths awesome. It’s everywhere and for me the only subject that gives you the satisfaction of actually finding a solution. It sounds a bit of a cliché but Maths is about making complicated things simple not vice versa; you receive the challenge of a problem to work through, enjoy persevering at working it out and then there is the ‘eureka’ moment that makes all the preliminary graft worthwhile. You know where you stand.'

Asked how he knew he wanted to teach, he replied: 'I used to be a software developer but the whole department was outsourced to emerging markets abroad. The IT job market was static so I was looking for a new career. I used to help kids at my local community centre with their Maths work, which gave me a taste for teaching, so I studied for my PGCE.'

Mr Memon also said he felt it was vital to attract new teachers into his subject, because without Mathematics, no other subject would exist! With new ideas and technologies emerging so swiftly, he felt there was a need for new specialist teachers with current and fresh techniques, who were happy to work with all the new technologies in the best way.

The research for the article also turned to Miss Jayne Simmons, whose main teaching responsibility is Physics. Asked about the importance of attracting new graduates into teaching her subject, Miss Jayne Simmons said: 'Bablake is lucky as it has specialist teachers in Physics rather than teachers trained in the other sciences. I think it’s very important to have subject specialists, who know and love their subject, in order for the next generation to be inspired by their teaching and want to continue their learning in that area. Without more students pursuing the sciences, the country’s industry would be significantly affected.'

We are sure this debate will spark much counter-discussion among every academic department, but a key common ground is the importance of having enthusiastic specialists entering the teaching profession, looking to inspire the talent so clearly evident in every new young generation!


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