Another Altius trained teacher is Megan Houghton who, before joining the course, gained a First Class Honours degree in mathematics at the University of Manchester and began her career as an NQT in September 2015. Megan tells us why she chose to become a teacher.
“Getting into teaching was something I’d always planned to do. It surprised many of my university friends who are now happily progressing their careers in the corporate world and enjoying the financial benefits this brings, but I knew this was not for me.
In my last year at university, I went online and established what training venues were available and I have to admit I just put Altius down randomly in order to fill in my third option. However, it was the first centre to respond by inviting me for an initial interview with Gill Theobold. As I came away I remember thinking I just have to come here, the people were really friendly and the course was so much more than teacher training; it was all about being ‘the very best you can be’. I went along to the other two interviews, but nothing detracted from the impression Altius and Cheadle Hulme High School (CHHS) had made on me; I couldn’t wait to get started.
There is a great deal of practical teaching involved on the Altius course which is a positive, but what impressed me most was the way maths was taught at CHHS. The staff really care about engaging the children early on with the subject so that they actually enjoy learning the topics – sadly not always the case in schools. Most teach maths quickly in order to get through the syllabus and pass exams; at CHHS the teaching is more in depth from the outset so that the pupils have a better understanding of the subject and find it easier and more enjoyable as they progress. The Head, Linda Magrath, along with the maths department really care about how maths is taught, and the support I received while on the course was simply excellent.
At the end of my training I was disappointed that there were no maths teaching positions open at CHHS, but I was offered a job at another school where I began my career. However, I was getting to the point where I just wanted to get back to teaching maths the CHHS way, and was delighted when a position became available and even more so when I was appointed to start in April 2016.
Originally I thought I would prefer to teach sixth form students as the topics at this stage of learning are more interesting, but I find I really love teaching Year 8; they are growing into young adults after leaving primary school, have a great personality and genuine thirst for knowledge. Teaching maths is really challenging, especially when you have to undo any preconceived ideas that they ‘can’t do maths’, but once you crack them you’ve got them for life.
Unlike some of my peers, my career is not about the money it’s about job satisfaction. I’d like to be a head of department at some point in the future, but I would much rather teach in a very good school like CHHS, than move to a lesser school just for promotion.”
"Unlike some of my peers, my career is not about the money it’s about job satisfaction. I’d like to be a head of department at some point in the future, but I would much rather teach in a very good school like CHHS, than move to a lesser school just for promotion.”