As a specialist dyscalculia teacher and assessor, there is nothing more rewarding than seeing children gain confidence in themselves as mathematicians. It is those ‘light bulb’ moments when they suddenly make connections that make my job worthwhile.
The ‘light bulb’ moment for me, was when I returned to teaching having had my three lovely children. I taught in a unique school that served a particularly disadvantaged area and was struck by the lack of confidence, skills and mathematical understanding many children and their parents had. But I was lucky enough to work with an innovative Head Teacher who allowed me to train as a Numbers Count Teacher. This enabled me to work with both the parents and their children, using an approach that built on what the children could do to develop their basic skills and enable them to access whole class learning. Seeing one of my first Numbers Count intervention pupils achieve at the expected level in their end of Yr 6 tests and the smile on his face when his mum said she was so proud of him was brilliant! This ignited my passion to explore mathematical learning difficulties further and I enrolled on the specialist Dyscalculia course.
Since training as a specialist dyscalculia teacher, I wanted to have the freedom to support those children who have specific difficulties on an individualised basis, as well as supporting teachers to develop their understanding around Mathematical Learning Difficulties. This led me to becoming a private maths tutor and provide Professional Development for teachers at all stages in their career.
In addition to this, I have become slightly ‘Dotty about Dots!’ Following the work of many experts in the field of dyscalculia and in partnership with the children I teach, I have developed my use of dot patterns based on a multi-sensory approach. I love using all sorts of ‘hands on ‘ resources to explore number and one of my favourites are ‘feely’ felt number cards. These are an excellent resource that supports learners to visualise and connect the numeral with the amount…and are very easy to make!
To conclude my journey, I have now qualified as a dyscalculia assessor as it has become clear to me how much many children and their parents value the opportunity to understand their difficulties, gain appropriate support and develop their own strategies to become confident in their own mathematical ability.
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