Meet the internet maths expert who might become the next million-dollar instructor

Colin Hegarty says Global Teacher reward election is down to ‘working like a dog’– and he attempts to instil very same work ethic in trainees

At the back of Colin Hegarty’s class, on a screen made from wavy pieces of blue sugar paper, is something he calls his “wall of motivation”. It features photos of famous people– Michelangelo, Malcolm X, Malala Yousafzai– together with a quote from each worrying the vital importance in their own life and profession of sheer, bloody-minded hard work.

” My secret is practice,” reads the contribution from David Beckham. “I have actually constantly believed that if you wish to accomplish anything unique in life you need to work, work and after that work some more.”



Hegarty enjoys speaking to his students about people like Beckham, he states, and it is not difficult to see why. At 34, and after just 6 years teaching maths, he was today called one of the 10 best teachers in the world in a contest that grants $1m to the total winner, who will be revealed in March. He remains in the procedure of developing a website that he hopes will be readily available to every kid in the country, and through which he aspires to make a distinction to mathematics education in Britain.


How Old is Mr Hegarty?

The one thing that has actually got him here– from the tiny flat in north-west London where he shared a bed room with his parents and younger sibling, via a first-class degree from Oxford and a stint as a City accounting professional– is what he refers to as “working like a canine”. Before he teaches a new class anything, he says, “I tell stories for a week in advance about how you have to work hard at everything in life, how you have to be prepared to dig in, how I have exceptionally high requirements for you, so I’m not going to let you not do your homework, sorry.”


Mathematics teacher Colin Hegarty
FacebookTwitterPinterest Hegarty has created more than a thousand videos for students. Hegarty doesn’t think there is such a thing as being “good at mathematics” or, heaven forbid, bad at it. They both check out with Hegarty and his sister when they got home from work, and there was constantly an area for him on the cooking area table to do his research.

It has to do with developing a culture of application, assistance and self-belief, he states. “When that is sorted, you can do anything.”.


Do you have to pay for Hegarty Maths?

It is half term at Preston Manor school– a large comprehensive in Wembley, north-west London– however it has barely been the relaxing week that Hegarty and his wife, who teaches geography at another school close by, had been expecting. Life, since he learned on Tuesday that he had actually been shortlisted for the Worldwide Teacher reward, granted by the humanitarian Varkey Foundation, has actually been a blizzard of tv and radio interviews and a level of attention with which he is not terribly comfy.

He is doing it, however, since his aspiration for his site resource is as lofty as that for his trainees, and if he wants to roll it out more commonly, “I know I’ve got to do a bit of this.” Simply another task to which he must vigilantly apply himself.

colin hegarty

Hegarty ended up being a web mathematics guru totally by accident. Providing him the book wasn’t enough,” Hegarty states.

The instructor sat down and Googled how to upload videos to YouTube, bought a tablet computer system that would transfer his handwriting to the screen, and started taping short videos on the A-level curriculum, making them late in the evening “since it took a long time to learn how to do that things. I’m bad at technology as such– I needed to find out.”.

Within a month, Hegarty had actually tape-recorded the entire A-level syllabus, and it occurred to him that the videos might have simply as much worth to the other students in the class. He set up a “turned learning” method, in which students were expected to view a video at house and class time was used to work through examples.


How do you delete a task on HegartyMaths as a student?

What sounds like a cop-out for teachers is anything however, he adds. Enjoying in your home allows children to go at their own speed, to pause and duplicate the videos if they require to, to require time to make notes they in fact understand. There are hundreds offered to them in the school if students do not have computers at house. “I’m not going to accept that as an excuse,” Hegarty states.

The outcome was transformative for some students– an effect that he is now seeing much more extensively as his new website,, is presented on a trial basis to 70 schools throughout the country. “Look at this kid. I like this a lot,” he says as he loads the website on his laptop and raises the profile of a 15-year-old trainee in Peterborough whose instructor contacted him this week.