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Maths Again

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A few weeks ago, my Boss came and asked me if I would like to change my role in the organisation. Iíve been a Literacy Programme Manager for a few years, but recently, with the insecurity in the Public Sector, I have studied Maths in order to give myself another iron in the fire.

So, as I did the L3 exam through my organisation, this has been noted.
As an incentive I was offered the chance this year to study for a L5 Maths Subject Specific Qualification at Warwick University. Itís a one year course of distance learning and attending the university once a month.

I jumped at the chance, and said yes immediately, though she did give me the opportunity to think about it. It didnít take any thinking about though. It would mean that Iíd be double qualified to teach both Literacy and Numeracy, both with adults and in schools.

The job is very similar to what Iíve been doing Ė managing programmes in venues across the city, managing a team of Tutors, having an input into strategy, managing a venue, developing ICT and liaising between Tutors and the Senior Managers. The only real difference is that Iíd have input into the delivery of the Maths curriculum rather than the literacy, and I would teach a couple of numeracy sessions a week.

I duly applied for the Numeracy L5, and found out Iíd have to do an assessment at the centre. Iíd have to get my revision notes out again for it. I was a bit anxious that this assessment required a 60% pass rate, whereas the L3 required 20%. It had to be done though. This included an unmarked written piece of 500 words which was designed for the candidate to demonstrate their literacy skills.

So I went along to the Lifelong Learning Centre for the assessment. I know the staff there as I took the L5 Literacy a number of years ago. They are very friendly, but I was somewhat worried about the assessment. Failing is not so bad if you donít know the people, but I had got to know and like them well.

Fortunately for me, the assessment included error analysis of some learnerís answers to questions. My task was to evaluate were they had gone wrong and suggest a way of teaching them the relevant skills. Iíve taught maths before, and so this was fine. I still managed to miss out a couple of questions Ė I think the general consensus is that it is difficult to complete within the hour and three quarters you are given. I went back to work, and waited for the results of my exam and this course assessment.

Luckily for me I passed my L3 exam and my assessment for Warwick. Iím really looking forward to the course, and Iím excited to be working in a new area of the organisation. Iíll get lots of ideas from the course, and be able to test out ideas for the course on my two classes.

I am fortunate to have this opportunity. It will give me options for the future and broaden my management skills. Warwick is a good university too. The grounds are brilliant, and, though it is called Warwick University through some historical oddness, it is actually on the outskirts of Coventry Ė a mere 15 mins bike ride from my house. Superb.

Best of all though is the opportunity to go on the course and learn. If thereís one thing that teaching has taught me is that you canít stop learning. Todayís world is fast moving. Who knows what will happen over the next few years. Itís a good job I enjoy learning stuff.


  1. TheFifthElement's Avatar
    Sound like a fantastic opportunity Paul, not to be missed. I hope the course goes well. I'm sure you'll have no trouble with it.

    It is great to keep learning new things, isn't it?
  2. Paulclem's Avatar
    Thanks Fifth - it is great to be learning. I really enjoy the courses I go on. It's like a day off.
  3. LitNetIsGreat's Avatar
    Good stuff Paul, well done. It has to be a good thing to have more eggs in the basket.

    I'm well out of touch with maths but I was naturally better at it than English in the past. I would love to work with adults too, it must be a very rewarding experience.
  4. Paulclem's Avatar
    Thanks mate.

    It is rewarding. What I found is that you are less curriculum constrained, and you can cover a broader range of topic - particularly in literacy - as a basis for the English you want to teach them. Just imagine - no class control issues. Just people who want to get on. Great fun.
  5. Virgil's Avatar
    Good for you Paul. Good luck with the opportunity.