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Building a Picture of Professional Development - Gillian, Secondary Teacher in Coventry


This page has been archived. The content was correct at the time of original publication, but is no longer updated.
Created on 29 June 2009 by ncetm_administrator
Updated on 13 October 2010 by ncetm_administrator

Building a Picture of Professional Development
 

How going to the Maths Association Annual Conference helped to rejuvenate her love of mathematics and teaching mathematics.

Gillian, Secondary Teacher in Coventry

I like Mathematics. Some days I have to keep reminding myself of that fact, particularly when the daily routine of school seems to overshadow all the enjoyment of Mathematics.

One way of being refreshed is the MA conference, which usually takes place in the Easter holidays.

The first one I went to was at Warwick University.  (It was cheaper because it was close enough to go home at night.)  It was great to spend time with so many likeminded people.  The keynote speakers usually inspire one to try something new in the classroom.

There are a large variety of seminars, something for everyone.  One seminar I particularly remember was about A level teaching.  Although I was not teaching A level at the time I came away with a large amount of material to use with an A level group. In time I moved to an 11 to 18 school and could make use of the ideas and materials, such as the hexagon jigsaw I learned about at this year’s MA conference. Using the NCETM web site I found a link to the program to produce my own jigsaw, then emailing the result to another teacher.

Mealtime and coffee breaks are often the best time to meet a variety of people, from other teachers to people sitting on government committees influencing the way maths education is going.  This has encouraged me to take more of an interest in documents such as the Tomlinson report. The report was sent out free and I had met someone who had contributed to it so it felt more alive, not so dry and dusty.

For me, the best thing about going to these conferences is feeling again the excitement about the subject. I am sure I teach better when I feel excited about the beauty of mathematics rather than worried about the grades my students are going to achieve. 
 
 
 
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