“I was a teacher in the locality of Glasgow for 41 years and am now living in Oxfordshire where I am lucky enough to volunteer in the local school teaching A level Mathematics.
I was first introduced to what became the UKMT in 1994 when I had a very able student and I needed help in providing them with the best possible support. This led to one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I have been privileged to work with the organisation for such a long time and have met many interesting people along the way.
Through the UKMT, I was able to improve my own teaching skills, to meet like minded people and to use the materials available from the UKMT to compose interesting and valuable lessons for my students.
On a personal level, my first few years with the UKMT were a learning experience. I was taught how to write questions which used the school curriculum but improved and deepened my understanding of how to inspire young people through Mathematics. I was trained on how to read solutions in very fine detail to better understand what the writer was trying to say. This enabled me to take UKMT materials and devise a programme of study which strengthened my students’ understanding and capability of writing good solutions to complex problems. By becoming a member of a mathematical community, I was able to listen to others and to adapt my own teaching in a variety of ways. The UKMT also provided me with the opportunity to travel to meet mathematicians from other countries. I had attended conferences in Salamanca, Ljubljana and Bucharest to name but three. I was also able to initiate several UKMT enterprises such as Maths Circles and Team Maths Challenges. Meeting and talking with other teachers there was an exciting challenge.
I would not be the person I am today without UKMT. Many teachers burn out but I have been able to grow both professionally and personally by being continually enthused by challenging myself and my students.
However, there are more things in life than mathematics. I have also studied Renaissance culture so it can be very boring about history, art and music. I am an avid traveller and have seen many of the wonders of the world. The only thing left on my bucket list is Borneo. I am a volunteer with Oxfam – this also means that I encounter interesting people and am a member of several craft groups.”