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About Mathsy Stephen

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by Stephen.

About Mathsy Stephen

Did you use shells too? My maths buzz started simply from getting lots of sums right using shells at primary school.  Later I found a particular interest in applied maths, which has developed into a fascination with everyday maths, especially having a feel for number and finding nifty ways of doing maths.  And increasingly I found myself driven by a passion for helping people to learn, a passion for making maths mean more.

I've also been fascinated ever since I was a teenager by what makes us tick, especially what grabs our attention and motivates us.  So it has been natural for me to develop insight into how we learn, how different learners might need different approaches.  Confidence is the key to effective lasting learning, coupled with ongoing diagnosis of how the learner sees things, plus an ever-growing bank of alternative approaches.  For example, multiplication and division do not have to be done by the traditional method.  There is no point in flogging a dead horse if it doesn't work for you.  Similarly, some people can memorise methods without understanding them, but for many people a method gets mixed up later if it has not made sense to them in the first place.  Revisiting topics repeatedly can also help to hook things into memory.

I relish going back to basics, including and sometimes even more necessarily with higher topics, to find ways of "making maths mean more" - i.e. easier to recall the appropriate method for a particular problem + easier to actually do it + easier to see if it's worked ok + easier to remember for the next time.  Maybe you'd like my "Nun's Cross" method (with thanks to a nun for the startup idea, and to her pupil Sue for passing it on to me).  Perhaps you want to stop feeling intimidated by numbers.  Does your brain "fog up" when confronted with exams, thus hiding your true potential from coming out in results?  Or maybe you just want to cover some maths ground but don't know where to start or what route to take through what is often presented as a long list of seemingly unrelated topics.  

Whatever "making maths means more" means to you, I look forward to working with you to boost your maths.  And hopefully we'll have fun along the way!

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Qualifications and experiences

  • PGCE qualified teacher...

  • ...+25yrs experience = FT maths teacher +...
    ...+ One-to-One tutor (and 1:2), home/school, aged 7 - adult +...
    ...+ Various support roles (secondary + primary schools) +...
    ...+ Youth group main leader

  • ...inc. 15yrs GCSE Maths exam marking (+markscheme team member)

  • BSc 1st class Honours degeree, Engineering

  • MSc, Advanced Manufacturing Technology

  • Engineer (stress analysis specialist) for 10 years (before teaching)

Other skills + experience:

  • Competent computing (from hobby + work + teaching / home-tuition).

  • Qualified counsellor (inc. for college students and staff + as a Samaritan), stemming from a keen interest in what makes us all tick, especially motivations and memory.

  • Everyday cycling + Other "Live Simply" ways (such as "pegging out")
    +Running +Swimming (especially local quarry +Lake District) +Juggling.

  • Married for over 30yrs with two adult children

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