Spike Strang

Teacher of Mathematics

My main goal as a teacher is to help my students maximise their potential and give them the best possible opportunity to achieve the ambitions they have for their own lives. Underpinning this aim is a desire to instil an inquisitiveness and a love of problem solving so that students gain an independence that allows them to be successful.

I graduated with a BA (Hons) and MA (Cantab) in Economics from Queens’ College, University of Cambridge before going on to complete my PGCE at Northumbria University, which specialised in mathematics teaching. 

My PGCE was completed alongside the Teach First Leadership Development Programme which is a UK based charity taking recent university graduates and placing them in various underprivileged schools in the UK. I was placed in a school in Newcastle – near where I grew up in the North-East of England- where I was able to learn my teaching practice in a community in need of passionate and dedicated teachers. This helped me realise that a love of learning can be nurtured in students coming from a variety of different backgrounds and helped me develop my engaging style of teaching mathematics. 

After this I moved abroad, teaching both mathematics and economics at top international schools in Thailand and Rio de Janeiro, where I was able to help high achieving students reach their potential and receive offers from some of the top universities around the world. Progress is at the heart of my teaching practice. Particularly in mathematics, it is important that students have an understanding of what progress looks like as celebrating it can be a significant motivator to students who may have previously been demoralised by the subject. This can be done in many different ways but my students frequently comment on the enthusiasm and passion that goes into my lessons and how this creates a positive atmosphere in which everyone is driven to succeed.  

I believe that not all teaching can take place in the classroom and as practitioners we need to take a much more holistic view of education. In order to promote this, I have previously offered business management and portfolio management simulations that encouraged students to assume the roles that they might be thinking about as future careers. Students were able to engage in the relevant decision making processes, applying the knowledge they were gaining in lessons in new, unfamiliar and exciting contexts. Sports and other extracurriculars also offer a great way to grow outside of the classroom, building teamwork, determination and resilience. 

I am a keen sportsman and will try my hand at any sport I have an opportunity, with rugby and cricket being my main sports. 

I look forward to being able to offer a range of different opportunities and activities to students in Avenor College so that they become rounded and successful individuals.