Mrs Sidra Saleem: Maths Teacher and KS5 Coordinator

Name

Sidra Saleem

Job title

Teacher of maths and Key stage 5 coordinator

Industry

Education

How long have you been in this industry?

9 years

What attracted you to this job?

I have always enjoyed Mathematics and from a young age I was told I had a knack for explaining difficult concepts in simple terms. I decided to get into teaching as I enjoy working with young people. I felt this career choice would also be a good for a Muslim woman, as the flexibility and holidays allow me to have a family and life of my own aswell.

What did you have to achieve academically to get this job?

I needed to have a minimum 2:1 in a bachelor’s degree and to pass a one-year training course known as the secondary Maths PGCE

What did you study?

I studied A bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the UoM, then I completed my PGCE from the same university.

Did you have to participate in work experience?

To apply for a PGCE work experience was not compulsory but desirable. It was understood that relevant work experience would work in your favour in earning a place to complete the PGCE. I completed a two-week school placement prior to my PGCE ran by the UoM Education dept.

What’s a typical day for you?

My day begins at 8am, after dropping my children off to childcare and Nursery, I teach between 3-4 lessons a day with one period usually free. This is the time I spend planning and marking for future lessons. I teach from year 7 all the way up to A-level. With a variety of top middle and bottom sets. We have 25mins for break which I sometimes have to carry out a duty and a 50min lunch. My day ends at 3.10pm.

What challenges have you/do you have to overcome to be in your position?

There was a lot of competition trying to get a job once I had completed my PGCE. That was something I struggled with. I was one of the last people in my cohort to find a job. I had to go on several interviews before I was finally offered a job at Whalley Range High School. It was difficult because not only was I competing with other newly qualified teachers but experienced teachers as well.

What’s the best part of your job?

The best part of my job is I am about to help young people understand maths, and I feel like I am making a difference. Even though they won’t necessarily go on to study maths in future education they know that they need it to get where they want to go, and I feel privileged that I can help students to achieve this. I especially enjoy it when students finally make sense of maths. I feel a lot of frustration or negativity towards the subject stems from them not understanding it.

How is your work-life balance?

I feel like my work-life balance is very good. I have very young children, so I do not bring any work home with me. it just means I work extra hard through my breaks and lunches and organise myself so when I come home I can relax and spend time with my family. I feel the more I develop as a teacher the easier it gets as I have built up a bank of resources which I can chop and change. It has allowed me to plan lessons in a fraction of the time it used to take me.

 

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