I really enjoyed talking to Nick Clark, Maths Teacher at George Eliot School, Warwickshire. Nick has been shortlisted for the TES New Teacher award this year.
You can listen to his episode of ‘Spotlight’ on Saturday 18th September at 5 p.m. or Sunday 19th September at 1 p.m. on Teacher Hug radio through Alexa the free App or the Teacher Hug website- https://teacherhug.co.uk.
Nick was an accountant but decided to change careers and use his love of numbers and passion to support students and became a maths teacher. He found being an NQT within a pandemic challenging and rewarding. The most difficult challenge was having to teach with COVID measures in place like wearing masks and maintaining distance, not being able to use facial expressions to support the teaching and learning within his lessons.
George Eliot School Motto is ‘Aim for excellence’. Their mission statement is to develop pupils who aim for excellence through high expectations, hard work and respect for self and others. This underpins their values of self discipline, tenacity, ambition and responsibility.
To support their families, the school has provided free uniform to all the year 7 pupils, a free paid activity which could include music lessons or a trip, and a free crest award for STEM.
Despite his status as an NQT, maths teacher Nick was appointed Head of House at The George Eliot School in 2020. School principal Homeira Zakary said that ‘Nick takes a proactive approach and never waits to be asked to get involved with school activities outside his classroom teaching commitments’.
Nick has taken on additional responsibilities, including leading the Fantastic Five scheme for Year 11 pupils who compete against each other for rewards against key measures of attendance, behaviour, and effort. Pupils are involved in whole class feedback every 1-2 weeks and are provided with follow-up tasks that help them to improve.
Nick has also led a gratitude initiative which enabled students and teachers to show gratitude to each other. Pupils wrote thank you cards to the teachers to thank them for their hard work and show appreciation during lockdown. Nick was also instrumental in setting up a Maths Pioneer network (@MathsPioneers) which is a great opportunity for Early Career Teachers and trainees to develop their knowledge, understanding, pedagogy and confidence in a supportive environment. As a result of the session Nick delivered, teachers across Birmingham are using his routines, slides and videos to train staff.
I hope you enjoyed reading this blog about Nick Clark. It is great to be able to shine a light on his good practice and learn from his experiences and ideas. If anything resonated with you please give me a call, email or please tweet me on @teacherhugradio or @ArkinstallNikki or send an email to email@example.com or call on our free phone number – 0800 246 1555 and leave me a message so that I can contact you.
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