Last night was the second Sheffield maths teachmeet and it was lovely to spend time with such wonderful enthusiastic maths teachers. It reminded me how lucky I am to be part of such a brilliant community both within my college and the wider community of maths teachers. I think time spent talking to other maths teachers sharing ideas and talking about some of what we do day to day is really valuable. Our Fab NQT put it really well in the pub after when she said that it’s always nice when people get something small they can takeaway and do straight away. I really hope people did get both some quick wins (I know loads of people took pictures of displays and things) but also found things that would make them think about their teaching in a wider sense.
Putting on a teachmeet is both brilliant and also terrifying, you get to show how proud you are of your college and department but also what if no one comes! Thankfully people did come otherwise we would have been eating a lot of cake for the next week. Sharon did a lot of the organising with this year and we did some good delegating of jobs, child labour is fine if it’s voluntary right?! Team JenShaz is the best I’m not sure how I would survive without her especially with the stresses beforehand. The college boiler broke on Monday so we were off Tuesday and spent the day trying to find alternative venues, make plans for getting everything we needed somewhere else and baking to calm our nerves. I’ve never been so excited to get a message saying that college would be open again. There was also snow and one of the presenters being stuck on a delayed train so getting there just in time for their sessions but everything worked out in the end.
Organising things means you don’t often get to actually see the sessions so Sharon and myself spent a lot of time checking things were ok and catching bits of sessions. There were so many interesting things happening and I wish I’d had the chance to go to some of the sessions but I’ve been hearing about them from colleagues who are keen to try out new ideas.
One thing I was really pleased about was getting teachers across different levels together. Primary teachers are doing some fantastic things in maths and I’d like to know more about it so it was great to have quite a few primary teachers this time and at the end a few came and said how much they enjoyed it so hopefully this is something we can keep growing.
On the day the whole maths department was brilliant at making sure everything ran smoothly. I still love the fact that we have our maths t shirts, someone from another department once said that he’d quite if they made him wear a tshirt and we all looked confused and told him no one made us in fact we’d designed and organised them ourselves! I think it’s a sign of a good department when you’re all the same sort of slightly crazy. We had support from college principle and a few other SLT which was lovely, they got involved with helping show people to the right places and stayed a while to see what was happening. They are generally very supportive, even from starting there as a student teacher the principle would always say stop to say hello. They never seemed to be scary in the way other people sometimes describe their SLT as, that said the principle did once come to talk to one of my students and was seriously fierce so I think I’d like to stay on the right side of her.
I’m still looking for schools that might like to do another Sheffield Maths Teachmeet next term, we’re happy to do one a year but can’t really do much more. If you are thinking of organising a teachmeet do it it’s fun, though I do now need to catch up on a load of marking and sleep a lot!