4 Top tips on how to create maths workshops for teachers
Today I want to discuss the key steps to consider when creating CPD or (training as it was called millions of years ago) for teachers. Here's my top 4 tips. I design and promote and deliver maths CPD for Primary school teachers and teaching assistants. I was a Headteacher of a primary school for 11 years and so feel I have a double sided perspective of this both being `done to` and now `delivering` When I was a Headteacher I used to think that CPD was a fairly straight forward thing to manage. You did it to teachers and other staff and they responded appropriately and therefore pupil outcomes were impacted and we were all happy and professional. Sometimes you bought it in and other times your staff did it, mostly the latter. Four years ago I stopped being a Headteacher and set up Solve Education and my aim was two-fold; focus on my passion of primary school maths pedagogy and spread the word, evangelically, about how we can change maths teaching for the better. Now I deliver workshops around the East of England but also support school with longer term Maths implementation providing tailored support. What I have discovered is that although Headteachers want lasting impact (obvs) the pathways and routes to this Golden Fleece are fraught with danger.
Here are my 4 top tips on how to create maths workshops for teachers 1. To create change in practice I believe you need to challenge teachers to think differently. The problem is that on a wet Tuesday night after a long day in the classroom a challenging CPD session isn't always going to go down well. The key thing here is to at least make them think, so they reflect later 2. If the above is difficult then the next step is even more crucial. Give them a sure fire winner activity that they can try THE VERY NEXT DAY in class. Here's the paradox for me with CPD, Heads want impact and teachers want stuff that's going to work. Make sure you get the balance right. 3. Give them some resources - there's nothing worse than seeing this great idea but not having time to put it into action. Make it easy for staff and give them the tools they need to put into place as soon as possible. They need to try those new fangled approaches whilst they are still fresh. 4. Communicate. Remember to ask them the next day or week how it went, that way you can see who is on-board and has got involved or not. Chase up those who haven't a bit further down the line.
Hope you find these ideas useful, whist I could include many more I think these are a good starting point particularly if you are new to leading maths. Remember, try to keep it small and focused
and not to over reach and attempt too much, less is more.