Several months ago we were asked to be part of a Teachology conference, which we gleefully accepted. Seager does this kind of thing all the time but this was the first time that I’d been involved (apart from the filming for Edexcel .. “google” it as I am waaaaay too embarrassed to even watch the thing, so I’m certainly not going to point you in the right direction!) so on Thursday evening we ventured down to “that there” London on the train and schlepped across the city from Euston to Victoria to the hotel that had been booked for us. We arrived late and our evening meal was less than glamorous – it comprised of a cheese & ham sarnie and some “Eric” the elephant sweets from a late night opening supermarket (if you are interested they are just like Percy pigs from M&S!). We vaguely looked at where the venue was, but didn’t really spend much time on it as we were “banjaxed” … so the next morning, bright eyed and bushy tailed over breakfast we looked at where we needed to be to find that it was 2.3 miles away back up near Euston, where we had arrived into London.
Lets just say it was a lovely walk and leave it at that .. those on twitter will have read my tweets swearing that I would throttle him if he frogmarched us there, but to be honest it was a nice morning stroll.
We arrived. The venue was brilliant and the organisation fab. The key note speaker was Ian Taylor who was exciting, energetic and really interesting to listen to – someone else spoke about something (if I could be ar$ed I’d go and find the bumph) … I was dead nervous as our “break out” session was straight after the coffee break, so wasn’t really focussed but anyway our session came and went! During the morning we had some fun, selfies were taken, phones were “jacked” and I also had time to notice that Seager makes some great worksheets (we’ve handwritten my name under his!):
After lunch, Ian Loynd was up, (there is an “Ian” theme going on!) who was also really good, and I came away with some ideas about teaching factors and multiples. At this point we then left – for me it just didn’t feel morally right that we would sit in on any more sessions as the other delegates had paid good money to attend, and we had booked a train that meant we couldn’t have stayed anyway. The feedback so far has been brilliant about the whole day and now we’ll spend the next couple of days being nervous about the feedback from the delegates in relation to our specific slot. If it’s rubbish he can take the credit (as I don’t even get a mention!) but if it is good it was all me!
It has got me thinking though about the purpose of these type of conferences and what I’d have liked to come away with if I’d been a delegate and I think some are missing a trick (it was a great conference, don’t get me wrong!). I just think that there is more that leaders in maths “want” in terms of strategic ideas and information but also (and more importantly?) what works in the classroom. I think I’ll keep those ideas to myself for now just in case we ever want to start doing “justmaths” conference days … they would be the Carling of conferences! Now there is an idea that I’d like to develop … a true, sharing of ideas and information without any commercialisation .. or maybe just a few hours “down the pub” would do the job. My only regret is that there was too little time to talk to (a) everyone that I wanted to and (b) spend longer talking to those that I did get to talk to.
When I started this post it was going to be about something totally different and instead all I’ve done is, once again, waffled!! 2 questions were asked on the day: “why did you become a teacher? ” and “why are you still teaching?” and I wanted to be all “deep and meaningful” but its sunny and I have buckets of strawberries to pick, year 9 tests and 2 sets of year 10 books to mark too … maybe later!
Just previewed this post before publishing it and have decided it reads like a “my day out” that kids write in primary school …. just goes to show the versatility of my writing, (not!) and I wish I would assure you that it was meant to be that way! (not squared!)