My name is Joshua Russell and I was a Maths teacher at Fringe London Academy for three years.
Prior to becoming a maths teacher I worked for two years as a private site / street fundraiser.
My background as a fundraiser gave me two really important elements that transferred into my teaching.
The first is the power of building rapport and showing a genuine care in the work that you do. No one considers a long-term sign up to a fundraiser who does not have passion in their eyes and fire in their hearts. When a teacher can bring together these elements it can really help in fostering the right classroom environment.
The second is the ability to get someone’s interest very quickly, and then deepen that interest, to the point where they start to share in your passion and drive. I find that the best way to achieve this with any class is in the first 10-15 minutes. I believe spending 5-10 minutes getting students thinking along the right lines, and considering the topic with understanding of its place in the wider world can really help students contextualise the topic they are about to learn.
It functions in a similar way to Dan Meyer‘s 3-act math in that you build the “what is this used for” into the lesson, but also allows you to continue to teach in a familiar/explicit manner.