The end is in sight!

As MaST draws to a close for my cohort, this blog will no longer have a real purpose. It was begun as an online reflection of what I had learned and how the course had changed my ideas. It has certainly fulfilled that and I have found it useful to articulate my ideas in this way and to share what we have done.

I only have to finish my assignment (not a huge task then!) and have two more meetings and it will all be over. All I have to do then is to try and work on what I have learned and pass that on to the teachers in my school and elsewhere. It has been a tiring but worthwhile journey and I hope that I can use it as fully as possible.

Our cohort was the first one to do the Primary Maths Specialist course and in many ways we have been guinea pigs as the course leaders have been trying out different things. I certainly know that the second cohort in my area are doing things slightly differently as a result of our experience.

I have had positive comments about the blog, both online and in person when I have met people who have come across it. Thank you for those and I hope that some of my ramblings prove useful to anyone who is setting out on their MaST journey at the moment.

I don’t intend to stop posting though, it’s too useful a tool for that but the focus will become more general rather than being primarily about maths teaching.



Final University Meeting

It seems ages since I first had to drive up to NTU after school for a MaST session but we are now nearly at the end and last night was the final meeting with the university tutors.

In a way, it seemed a bit of an anti climax as the session didn’t seem to be as lively or as interesting as many of the previous ones. The subject of the session was Generality, the fifth of the courses Big Ideas. I think the problem with it was that there didn’t seem to be anything new. There was some interesting discussion on recent research into children’s understanding of the = symbol but most of the material seemed to be going over ground that we had covered in previous sessions.

It seemed a pity as some of the previous meetings had  been full of useful ideas and a lot of people sharing their thoughts and opinions and it would have felt more satisfying if the final meeting had been one of those sessions.

I shan’t miss the 30 mile drive up the M1  in the rush hour, or the drive back at after 9 o clock but I will miss the input of the tutors and the availability of materials through the university. Reading research into classroom practice has been both interesting and thought provoking. I would like to think that I will carry on reflecting on my own classroom practice but it will be harder without having the direction of people who are far more expert in this field than I will ever be.

We now just have 2 more local network meetings and the course will be at an end so we are definitely on the home straight now.

Starting over again.

Disaster has struck! This week we had a burglary during which both my laptop and handbag containing memory stick were stolen. The impact of what I have lost is still sinking in.

My laptop contained all my school resources as well as all my photographs plus of course, all the materials, resources and work for MaST! I had tried to be sensible and back up the most important things but unusually my memory stick was in my handbag and so was taken as well as the computer.

I can’t begin to think about how much work I have lost. All the resources and plans that I created over the summer have gone and the thousands of resources that I had collected over the past few years. On Friday alone I said 3 times “Oh, I’ve got something for that” only to remember that I haven’t any longer.

The real problem is my assignment. In 3 weeks I have to submit a 5000 research project. I have spent countless hours on it already and now have nothing to show for it. I ought to be trying to redo it at this moment but I’m putting off the evil moment for as long as possible as I’m not sure that I can face doing all that work again.

I have emailed my tutor but she is away so have no idea if I can get any sort of extension or not so I need to make a start but keep putting it off.

I know that in the grand scheme of things we have got off quite lightly as there was no damage and apart from electronic photos and my work, we haven’t lost anything that can’t be replaced. However I have got to cope with no longer having my huge resource bank and have got to get to grips with rewriting assignment asap.

So I need to exercise some self discipline, stop wasting time online and do some real work.

I may not post again for a while!