Maths in the Big Smoke

1:30 am on Saturday morning and I get back from the year 11 prom, what a wonderful evening! The students looked fantastic in all of their finery and were impeccably behaved as the celebrated they end of their time at school. Four and a half hours later after a small nap I am on the train to London for my first conference.

Me and all my mates on the train …

 Hosted by la salle education, #mathsconf4 was an incredibly useful day. It was set in the delectable architecture of the Grand Connaught rooms near covent garden and the impressive setting was complimented by the abundance of impressive individuals who delivered workshops, shared ideas and resources and generally made the day the success it was. It all started with speed dating.. Maths style. Instead of “I’m on the cusp of libra and Virgo so I can be pretty unpredictable at times teehee” it was more “here is my favourite resource, here is how it has changed my pedagogy, now what’s yours?” Within 10 minutes I had 5 brand new ideas with thanks to @MrBenWard, @MissBsResources @BetterMaths @MrKMorrison and @e_hayes12! 

 Onto the workshops. My first was seeing the amazing things @EmathsUK have been working on with saving teachers time when putting together a scheme of work, we were allowed to play with the software which was highly beneficial, especially as the curriculum is changing so much! Next, I snuck into a workshop on bar modelling. This was so important as I have found out I am getting pupils coming in at level 1 (KS2 levels) which means I am gathering ways to teach early years maths! .. Please send any helpful advice my way!

Lunchtime saw the tweet up where it was lovely to put some faces to tweets! I particularly enjoyed trying the ‘O Level” 16 mark questions from the paper that was sat the year before I was born..

After lunch I attended two excellent sessions on problem solving and leadership lead by @NCETMSecondary and @WorkEdgeChaos respectively. Now I thought I could play he part of mad teacher quite well, speaking fast an dancing around the room.. but the presenter from NCETM was described by @MrKMorrison as “a Tazmanian devil of knowledge” .. I mean the man was buzzing around the room. I felt tired by the end but I picked up so many useful things for immediate impact in my classroom and also pertinent points for reflection and consideration for later on in my career.

The day was polished off by some post conference networking over a (London priced) glass of wine where stories were shared and valuable advice and support was offered (Thanks @MrBenWard, @mathsjem). It is these moments that I think will become the best part of being involved in a network of teachers. The generosity of others is immense with resource sharing and a willingness to share experiences (the good and bad) is inspiring.

All in all it was totally worth getting out of bed at 5:30 am to go to London. Not only for the sessions but more importantly seeing how many other teachers want to improve and grow as professionals made me yet again excited about the career I have chosen.

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