By: Blonde One
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Nothing strikes fear into the heart of an English teacher more than the words ‘Maths cover lesson’! I had this very situation to deal with and I almost broke onto a cold sweat at the thought of it. If you know anything about me you will probably know that I don’t really do well with Maths. I got my O level at school but that’s about it. I have been known to suggest that I’m allergic to numbers! It’s a good job that Little Miss Blonde takes after Mr Blonde One in her love of Maths and accounting.

So what began as a normal, very lovely day, was a little bit spoiled when I saw that I needed to cover a Maths teacher for a year 10 lesson. Luckily for me the Maths teacher had set some work that didn’t involve me having to get involved. I took the register then sat back with my pile of marking. It didn’t take long for my ears to prick up. There was a conversation going on between two boys about which track they had taken up Mount Snowdon. I listened in as they discussed the merits of the Miner’s track compared to the Llanberis. Conversation then turned to a comparison of down jackets and walking boots. After listening for several more minutes I reluctantly reminded them that they should be working (as well as chatting. They can multi-task quite well at Trinity.). The two mountaineers then informed me that the Maths problem the class had been set revolved around the height of Snowdon and the lengths of the different paths. All of a sudden I was excited to be there! My marking was instantly abandoned as I opened up my own Maths text book and set about tackling the problems. I’ve always known I’m quite good at route card Maths so the Snowdon Maths was easy too. The class benefitted from all of my mathematical knowledge (I’m not sure they actually wanted it) about feet to metres conversion, timings of Snowdon summits and comparisons with other mountains.

Lots of maths teachers feel that the new maths exams are too wordy and create a barrier if your reading and comprehension ability is not great, and I would agree. However, I proved today that if you can make maths relevant to real life and hook the reader in with a topic of interest, then the puzzles seem less daunting.

I wonder how I will get on with a physics, textiles or RS cover lesson?