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Mathematics Teacher (Oxford)

I teach people aged from 16–19 retaking their GCSEs as well as adults are who wishing to take their GCSEs.

I spent about 30 years working with youngsters taking their GCSEs for their first time, but I found myself getting too old for them. Although I don’t have bright-eyed, bushy-tailed youngsters to teach anymore, I do have older students who are determined to raise their standard; raise themselves from a failing grade 3 to a passing grade 4 and that’s my objective here.

 What I like about it here is that it is not a school! There are no fights in the playground, no hatred of teachers or learning or anything like that, it’s just a lot of students who are serious about furthering their education and bettering themselves, so I prefer that. It’s a much more mature environment.

What I like most about working here is that I’m mostly left to myself! I have a syllabus, a curriculum, to teach, but I’m given a free hand to do that. All the teachers here have their own levels of experience and understand what works best, so no one’s telling me how to teach someone, they are just telling me what to teach. Therefore, I can use my own experience and judgement to find the best way to teach someone.

I work for two different departments—Mathematics and Health and Social Care—and I’ve been in this industry for a long time and what inspires me is seeing the young staff that are coming up now. They are so eager to help their students and they are coming with new techniques, new ways of teaching, new sources of education and instruction and just a great deal of energy, more so than I might have found within myself, so that really inspires me. The teachers in the Health and Social Care department are incredibly dedicated and that in itself is incredibly inspiring too. I love that about my job.