‘The Novice Expert: A Living Oxymoron’ Why Teaching Is About Being a Learner.

“Miss, can I come and see you at lunchtime?” A phrase often heard in school, especially around exam season when stress levels are high for GCSE and A Level students and equally as high for their teachers. The student wants to clarify a piece of knowledge I’ve imparted to them earlier on in the year, to make sure they understand how to use it in the correct context. They look to me as the fountain of all knowledge; the key that can unlock the door to success; the person with all the answers. And to some extent, we teachers do hold that. We understand our subject and the demands of the exam but in reality, it is my belief, that we should forever be like the students in front of us. Willing to learn from the wisdom of others and be the one who feels that sense of ‘not quite there yet.’

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Applying for University Faculty Jobs after the PhD — The Process

(This is Part 2 of a two part series)

I have the best job in the world (for me). I get to read, write, mentor young people, and contribute to science each day. I get to do this for the most part with the freedom to read and write when I want and where I want, and to travel to conferences and research sites throughout the year. I visited Austria, China, Mexico, Mongolia, New Zealand, Slovakia, Taiwan, Turkey, and the US this year. I presented my research to international audiences who asked thought-provoking questions. I published papers in high-impact journals. I won research funding; and I learned a great deal from my colleagues, students, and those who participated in my research. I am tremendously lucky.

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On a Maths Mission

As a school maths teacher, one of my favourite topics is the Venn diagram. Imagine a Venn diagram with one circle representing the set of Cambridge University Doctorate students, another circle of the viewers of the BBC quiz show University Challenge and a final circle for fans of my new BBC TV programme Monkman & Seagull’s Genius Guide To Britain.

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