Ok Shanghai, you’re great. We’re in awe. Your methods are indeed successful and I wish to God that all our maths teachers had subject knowledge like you guys do. But I seem to be having a memory lapse. I can’t for the life of me think about how maths teaching got to where it is today. Will anyone take responsibility for why teachers in the UK teach maths in the way that they do?
Does anyone remember being told that lessons needed to be more engaging and “fun”?
“Is your lesson worth behaving for?” … ring any bells?
Anyone recall empowering students to the extent that they would often walk into a class telling us what we can and can’t do? Making us feel like we’re at the mercy of the class, rather than the leader of the classroom?
Anyone remember being told the lesson was OK, but we didn’t quite tick the ‘good use of ICT’ box, so go away and use some more ICT?
Anyone recall being told to cater for the kinaesthetic learner? Pushing for more practical activities, more cutting out, more folding, more colouring in because it’s a more tactile experience?
Anyone told in a lesson observation that they really needed to think about the teacher-led / student-led time ratio, and maybe try to push the balance to about 20% teacher-led ?
Anyone told that behaviour was bad in your lesson because you really need to give them an independent learning activity within 10 minutes or so of the lesson beginning?
Anyone ever informed that letting students find everything out was the best approach, and that independent activities with a secret goal that only you knew about was a really great idea?
Anyone find that method to be terrible?
Anyone told that really the lesson needed more group work?
Anyone rang home to complain that a student didn’t do their homework for the fifth time, only to be told “what do you expect?”
Anyone overheard a parent or teacher or teaching assistant declare their hatred of maths, or their inability to do it openly in front of young children?
Anyone recall having their lesson pulled apart by a manager because the objectives weren’t in the format “all, most some”, or “smart kids try to reach this goal, medicore kids settle for this goal, and dumbos just try and get through ok?”
Anyone remember being told that their pace was too slow, and that students really needed to push onto harder topics?
Anyone remember preparing to be observed by creating 8 different worksheets on 8 different colours and sizes, and planning for an additional 4 hours for one lesson to make sure the observer saw a fun and exciting practical based lesson?