Andrew Cutler

PGDE Secondary Education - Mathematics

Andrew completed a BSc in Computer Science at the University of Liverpool and a BA in Economics and Mathematical Sciences at the Open University. After having worked for the Royal Navy, he decided to continue his studies at Strathclyde.

What were your reasons for deciding to start the PGDE, and why did you decide to study at the University of Strathclyde?

Having decided to change career in order to spend more time with my family, Maths teaching was the natural choice. Of all my roles in the Royal Navy, I most enjoyed my time as an instructor; whilst I was predominantly instructing officers, the most satisfying part was instructing the younger, junior sailors in the early stages of their career. With a passion for Maths (enough to study for a degree whilst working long hours and travelling back to my family in Glasgow at weekends) this was the subject I most wanted to teach.

Strathclyde – I needed to study in South West Scotland and, of the 3 options, Strathclyde’s reputation seemed the best.

What do you like about your course? 

The opportunity to meet a diverse range of people all passionate about their subjects and teaching. The best unit of the course has been the placements – the opportunity to put theory into practice.

What specialist knowledge / professional skills have you developed whilst studying the course?

The ability (still developing!) to break mathematical concepts into manageable ‘chunks’ and explain these in an interesting way to young people. The guidance I have received whilst on placement has been exceptional.

How have your placements been?

Excellent. Two diverse schools with a range of challenges, both had exceptional and dedicated staff in common. Putting theory into practice and feeling more confident as the placements have progressed has been a very rewarding experience.

What’s been your best moment so far in the classroom?

The moment when an S2 class ‘got’ fractions; when they realised that decimals, fractions and percentages were all different representations of the same thing and were confident in their use.

What are your ambitions for the future?

Initially to concentrate on becoming the best Maths teacher I can. Having gained credits from my study at Strathclyde I am considering completing a MEd, however, this will wait at least a year as I want a break from academic study. At some stage in the near the opportunity to teach abroad for a few years before returning to Scotland.