As a Maths teacher you are normally faced with a combination of the following:
- Teaching Maths
- Preparing for exams/assessments
I know that this is a watered down explanation of our role, but at the heart of what we do are those 2 elements.
In the summer of 2015 I left my position working in an upper school (13-19) and took up a position in a middle school (9-13) as a Head of Department. In doing so I was moving somewhat into the unknown (my initial training was as a primary Maths specialist, but I had worked solely in the secondary sector)
I was faced with doubts and concerns. This was mainly due to the change in the age range as the school offered a very warm welcome. I was aware of the curriculum changes, having been preparing for teaching the new 9-1 GCSE. However I was now faced with the 2016 SATs for our year 6 and this seemed to be a very familiar battle from the outset.
Then I remembered the words of David Brent
A good idea…“A good idea is a good idea forever”
This is so true. There are 5 years between my current year 6 class and their year 11 counterparts, but the process of preparing for their assessment has a familiar feel to it.
My year 6’s will take out their folders at the beginning of the week and in them they will find their Numetacy Ninjas book (can’t rate these high enough!) and a series of assessments, with a mixture of peer and self assessment, and topic lists for improvement.
Those little things that we brought in to better prepare our year 11’s are now serving the same process in year 6. And the students have bought into these ideas because they believe they work, and they are seeing them work.
Assessment in small, but regular, chunks allows any student to visualise progress and become more and more comfortable with the concept of being assessed.
So yes, every school will provide a different background, and with it a very different challenge. The story though is always written with the same pen.
“A good idea is a good idea forever”