How can I work with teachers and leaders from other secondary schools to develop their mathematics learning and teaching?
I am the mathematics leader in my school and I will be working with teachers and leaders in other schools to develop their mathematics learning and teaching. Where do I start? What do I need to think about? What can I do?
The government white paper “The Importance of Teaching” (November 2010) stresses the importance of schools working with other schools to their mutual benefit.
With the new designation of Teaching Schools and (mathematics) Specialist Leaders of Education there is a need for material which supports colleagues in the complex job of school improvement and school to school collaboration.
The Schools Working Together materials have been specifically written for this audience but will also be useful for anyone (Subject leader, Advanced Skills Teacher, School/Academy or external consultant) who is interested in working with other schools to improve performance.
There is also a suite of materials called Developing a scheme of work which supports schools in doing just that.
How can I prepare myself for supporting another school?
What issues are pertinent and what ways of working are useful when working with another school?
Where can I get access to materials, strategies and tools to support my work with another school?
These materials stress the importance of reflecting on your own strengths and areas of expertise before working with another school.
They offer a range of tools and strategies which you can use while working with the school, together with scenarios and case studies to exemplify and bring to life possible approaches.
Here are some points which you may wish to discuss within your own school:
- Where does your expertise lie and what do you have to offer?
- How important will it be to develop the school from where it is and when is it helpful to directly apply approaches and strategies that have worked in your own school?
- How transferable will strategies that have worked for you in your school be to others whose situation may be quite different?
- What kinds of input do you intend to offer other schools – running CPD sessions, working in the classroom, working directly with the subject leader, etc? Might these be different in different situations?
Explore a piece of mathematics
The NCETM departmental workshops
can be used individually, or with a whole department. Maybe you could explore the topic based workshops and extend your and your colleagues subject knowledge and pedagogy.
It has been said by some recently that ‘teachers learn best when they learn from each other’. If you know of another link to an activity or resource on the NCETM website that you think would be useful or appropriate for readers of this guidance, please use the comments box below to let us and them know of your idea.
We have many courses and networks availalbe, search in our Professional Development Calendar
to find a suitable course or network.
“Activity by itself is not enough; it is the sense that is made of it that matters” (DRIVER, R. (1983) The Pupil as Scientist?, Milton Keynes, Open University Press.
For the things you have tried out for yourself in your own classroom to become useful pieces of professional learning, there is a need to capture them, reflect upon them and remark on them. The NCETM Personal Learning Space (PLS) allows you to do this.
- Use My Learning Journal to collect your thoughts and reflections as well as to log actions; documents can be attached to your entries. You could do this now by visiting your own PLS.
- Use My Favourites and Notes to take note of and organise interesting things you have found (like this page) and want to return to easily in future.
- Use the Sharing and Contacts facility to share elements of your PLS with colleagues, selecting them from your own list of contacts
- Use the “Request a reminder” function
Find out more details of these and other functions of the PLS.