Written by Heather Davis Thursday, 28 February 2019
Edited and compiled by Robert J Smith @RJS2212
The difference between being a teacher with 20 years of experience and one with one year’s experience, repeated 20 times, is reflection on your practice. This is often achieved through partaking in professional development activities.
Membership of, or involvement with, a subject specific professional association such as ATM (The Association of Teachers of Mathematics) offers a variety of ways to do this.
The annual Easter conference offers three full days of workshops and events, as well as the opportunity to chat with others involved in mathematics education, to inspire you in your practice. One day CPD courses, with a member discount, give you an opportunity to explore an area in depth, led by an expert in that field. Our branch events, held around the country, give you the chance to listen to a national expert talking about their work or an opportunity to explore an idea with fellow professionals.
At Mathconf18 we have a bookstall with our most popular publications available to buy. These contain ideas for your classroom, together with some thoughts about how to use them and the pedagogy, or teaching strategy, that underpins the task. Trying a new approach in the classroom can be scary and we often include suggestions on how to manage its implementation with minimal risk.
In particular, ‘Assessment in the new National Curriculum’ gives prompts and questions to support learners getting the most from a task, both in terms of content and skills. Geoff Faux’s books, ‘Exploring area and fractions using square geoboards’ and ‘Exploring geometry with a 9-pin geoboard’ contain many rich tasks, as well as advice linked to how children learn mathematics. All of these contain ideas that you will want to reflect on and explore to develop your teaching.
Membership of ATM brings with it a subscription to our journal, Mathematics Teaching, with many articles from teachers exploring and reflecting on their practice. Reading any one of these will get your mind buzzing, whether you would like to use the ideas or not!
As a reflective practitioner you will not only see that a task or strategy worked well in the classroom but will also begin the journey of understanding why it worked well. We all (hopefully!) reflect on lessons that go badly in order to avoid that happening again, but it is as important to understand why things work when they do. It is not a matter of chance – even though it may feel like it sometimes!
You can see The Association of Teachers of Mathematics in the networking / Exhibitor slots during #MathsConf18 at the City Academy Bristol on Saturday March 9th 2019.
Don't forget in March we also have our 'FREE' Maths Teacher Network events in association with Oxford University Press and AQA.
We look forward to seeing you at our next La Salle Education Event if you don't already, follow us on Twitter @LaSalleEd
About the Author
Heather has been a member of ATM for over 25 years and led a local branch for 12 years. Having taught mathematics for 30 years in secondary schools in Sussex and Cornwall, Heather spent 14 of those as Head of Department. Heather has also worked as a local authority adviser before her current work that includes publishing and presenting.