The end of a calendar year is a great time to reflect on my own personal practice and whether or not I have grown as an educator. It is also an opportunity to really be thankful for everyone who helps me in the pursuit to be the best. I am thankful for all the maths tweeters; I am thankful for all the maths teachers I teach with and I am thankful to all the colleagues I see every day. I must also give thanks to the children and their ability to inspire a love of learning within me that I had lost until this year.
2015 has seen me pick up books to read for pleasure for the first time since I was a kid. 2015 has seen me become interested in things that I was 100% against previously. 2015 has seen me realise that intellect is the single most sought after human trait. I have enjoyed this year and I have enjoyed being a part of something bigger in other people’s lives.
I rediscovered my love of maths and I affirmed my belief that I am fascinated by learning. I want to know how children learn. I want to know how adults learn and I want to know the best ways of measuring this learning.
In terms of my teaching, I feel confident in where I am now vs where I started the year. Two major courses really helped me grow professionally – one was the Maths Conference 5 (an event I would recommend to anyone) and the second was a Harkness course held at Wellington. MathsConf 5 was a phenomenally well organised event with so many stars delivering workshops. I particularly enjoyed Kris Boulton’s history of maths where he showed a combination of knowledge and true passion that must be infectious to his students – they are very lucky. I have previously blogged about Harkness and the reason I enjoyed both courses was that I am in a room with other maths teachers. Teachers become better if we discuss teaching. Maths teaching is not an individual sport. All maths teachers want every child to be better at maths, no matter what age, school or background. I think that has been the best lesson I have learnt this year. There are others on my side and people will help me. This is the best job in the world and I do not want to lose sight of that.
So, 2016? How are we going to be better? I want to improve my IB teaching and I want to really hone in on the total learner ideal. This also includes my Theory of Knowledge teaching. I want to improve my mathematical skill so I can stretch the top end a little more. I also want to make sure I attend more maths coferences and perhaps deliver my own to help others. I would like 2016 to be a year where people ask for my advice and a year where I can help others.
Overall, I am happy with how I taught in 2015 and I am thoroughly enjoying stretching myself every day. I hope everyone has a fantastic 2016 and continues to inspire me like they’ve done this year. Keep being amazing!