What I wish I knew as an NQT/ECT

What I wish I knew about Maths and things with Gill Haysham

March 23, 2022

Gill Haysham is the guest for the final episode this term.

Gill is a Freelance Education Adviser for Mathematics who works mainly in Essex supporting teachers in primary schools and training new teachers. For 12 years prior to that she worked for Essex Local Authority as a Mathematics Adviser. All this after qualifying from university with a 2.1 in Mathematics and Education.

Now if you think that sounds like Gill must know an amazing amount about great teaching and learning in maths you would be right! But don’t just take my word for it. Following some training that Gill led in an Essex school, one of the participants said, “Gill is the best consultant I have worked with or had training from ... by far! Her relaxed and calm personality instils confidence, with fantastic enthusiasm and passion for the subject.” And if you listen to the podcast you will see why that comment was made.

In this podcast we discuss ...

  • The importance of telling children that if they work hard and don't give up then anything is possible. The teacher is responsible for giving this message endlessly until the children believe it.
  • The likely disconnect between our own upbringing and that of the children who may have experienced a very different childhood to that of the teacher. This can be an emotional shock.
  • Why lots of teachers still have maths anxiety because they aren't confident with the why and how of teaching maths and developing mastery.
  • The pluses and minuses of wearing a toga in a lesson on Roman roads.
  • How having an A level in Maths and a degree certainly help with subject knowledge but you still have to learn how to teach maths to children who don't find it easy. Children have many gaps in their knowledge and fall down many misconception holes and it is our job to get them out!
  • The importance of  doing the maths yourself so you can understand the possible difficulties that children may encounter, especially when you are inexperienced or unsure about the lesson you are teaching. This is the most important tip for teaching maths.
  • Why experience will make you a better teacher, as great teachers spend their careers on the path to improvement and never stop learning.
  • The value of a self-supporting, collaborative classroom if you want great learning. You have to make sure you give the children useful things to think about, then help them to articulate their thoughts.
  • When children make mistakes their brains are ready to listen. So children have to share half-formed ideas even if they are wrong. Real understanding takes time, so if you want children to develop mastery be patient, slow down and go deeper.
  • Simply taking the maths from the page in the text book will not lead to confident mathematicians. Teachers have to make maths real and live and relevant for every child if concepts are to be mastered.

You can contact Gill on:

Email - maths@gillhaysham.co.uk

Gill's website - gillhaysham.co.uk


We'll be back with more educational chat in the summer term!

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