“Sometimes, you have to look back in order to understand the things that lie ahead.”
So, it has been nearly two months since I started writing this blog. What inspired me to start was the groundswell of ideas and practice being shared at the 2nd National Mathematics Teacher Conference in Kettering, at the end of September.
What I wanted to do with this blog was ‘evangelise’; spread the word about the aforementioned great stuff going on across the country. To an extent with the Behind The Mathematician series I think I’ve started to do that, and I’m extremely grateful for the contributors taking the time to get involved (I’m still looking for participants by the way – you can self-nominate). But what I’ve noticed is that I’ve started to take a slightly different tack generally. Also through the Clicky Goodness and Rebloggable series I’m hoping to curate more specific materials that people can pick up and go with.
The Art of Leading a Department was meant to be about leading a Mathematics department – but I seem to have been talking in such a general sense, probably alluding to the fact that so many department leadership skills are transferable; that’s not to say that a Head of Mathematics role can be taken up by anyone who’s shown leadership in any other subject (although I have seen this happen). What I mean is that there are principles that need to be followed in order to succeed at that level.
Thinking Aloud seems to be my most popular series – down to the huge numbers of people who read my ‘On Statistics’ post and the follow up, recommended by David Didau, no less. I think the popularity of this post was down to the fact I tried to connect right-thinking methods to deal with the one of the many adminstrative tasks we as leaders have to deal with. Thinking Aloud is me trying to confirm my GCSE Business Studies teacher’s viewpoint that I suffer from verbal dihorrea but if you listen there’s (hopefully) a lot of validity in my points.
I’ve got other areas that I’d like to focus on. One series that I’ve put on the back burner is to look at books and documents that I feel Mathematics teachers should read. There are numerous amounts of reading material that are available but it’s important to – again I’ll use that word – curate these works. Another is a Right To Reply style series, basically me following up on interesting blogs and articles out there on the web.
This all takes time to write, and when you’ve got a busy job and a 6 month old daughter to help raise it’s a challenge fitting it all in – hence the variable frequency of posts lately. If anything though, this blog has been cathartic – and I’d recommend all teachers doing such a thing. It’s amazing how much more reflective and philsophical I’ve become about my work recently, simply because I’ve taken the time to put in words my thoughts and feelings about teaching. Why not give it a try yourself?