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Reference for Claude Alexander, 27 June 2003
I have worked with Claude since Easter 2003. He has done teaching practice in one of my Level1/2 Numeracy classes at Hackney Community College, and has also observed [and worked one-to-one with students in] my GCSE Maths class at Tower Hamlets College on a regular basis. I understand that he has also been doing a range of other teaching practice in Basic Numeracy at other London colleges.
He has worked very successfully with small groups within my class, and also with individuals. He relates very well to the learners, and is sensitive to their diverse needs. He has put time and effort into preparing appropriate work, and exploring ways of helping learners to understand and make progress in a series of specific numeracy topics such as place value, using decimal numbers, fractions, percentages and averages. He listens carefully to students, and finds ways of adapting teaching materials to suit their needs. Students find him friendly and approachable, and he is at pains to put them at ease and make them feel comfortable and increase their confidence in tackling numeracy. He gives helpful and constructive feedback to students and is very supportive, taking a genuine interest in them as people and making them feel valued. He has sometimes needed to rethink the level at which he is pitching an explanation, as initially he tends to aim it too high.
He has produced some very effective worksheets, and has also researched sources of good numeracy teaching material. He is well organised, and plans carefully, while also being flexible, and able to think quickly and imaginatively on his feet.
While he has not had the opportunity of being directly involved in initial assessment and developing ILPs within his teaching practice at Hackney College, I have discussed various assessment tasks with him, and he is clearly able to evaluate and use a range of assessment tools appropriately.
He has kept himself very well informed about developments in numeracy teaching and adult basic education in general and is extremely pro-active. He has a thorough knowledge of the Numeracy Core Curriculum and has taken the initiative of participating in a BSA 3 day core curriculum training session.
He is clearly used to working on his own initiative and is extremely resourceful. He is an excellent communicator and relates very well to colleagues.
I recommend him without hesitation as a basic numeracy tutor. Although his teaching experience in basic numeracy is still limited, he has shown himself to be very willing, quick to learn and responsive to constructive criticism, and he draws usefully on his wider experience of teaching music. I am confident that he will quickly develop his expertise in numeracy and with appropriate support to start with, that he will be able to assess students, plan learning programmes, develop learning resources and take full responsibility for running courses.
Coordinator of Basic Skills
Hackney Community College, London