Financier's future in maths

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Peter Bassett,
Maths teacher

I spent 27 years working in finance in London. Having raised my own family and enjoyed a successful career in the city, I wanted to pursue one of my long-term ambitions, and chose to make the switch to teaching.

I’d been working in the same role for many years and I was no longer feeling challenged. So I had a decision to make: stay in my finance role, or give myself a new break.

Enrolling on a salaried teacher training course made becoming a teacher a possibility.

I’d gained a lot of experience of working with people who have different skill sets and approaches, and it really helped me when faced with a classroom of students all of whom have different approaches, ideas and attitudes.

Having worked with adults all my life, I was used to dealing with people who are prepared to sit and listen to you. Now that I’m working with children, I really have to earn their respect – and it’s extremely rewarding to have a student come out of a lesson and thank you, or receive an email from a parent telling you how much impact you’ve had on their child’s learning.

Of course, there are highs and lows in teaching, but the highs are immeasurable. You might have a child who starts the lesson not particularly focused because they’re struggling with the subject. As you guide them and encourage them, their understanding increases and all of a sudden they’ve got their hand up to answer a question. That light-bulb moment really gives you a buzz.

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