Words from the past

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Last night I was reading through some things I wrote a few years back when I stumbled across this sentence:

I wish there was more time in the curriculum to focus on proof, which is the cornerstone of mathematics but tends to get buried between attainment targets and numeracy strategies.

It brought back to me memories of the frustration I felt as I started out in teaching, that so many of the things I wanted to try I felt that I couldn’t because of the pressure to deliver exam results that met targets.  These words were written towards the end of an academic year, after exams, about the joy and delight I felt after a successful lesson on investigation and proof, having recaptured the enthusiasm that drew me into education in the first place, but my longing was for maths teaching to be like this all the time.

Since joining the NRICH team, I have been privileged to meet teachers, departments and schools who are striving to make every lesson like this, and I hope I have contributed in some way by working on developing support materials for teachers wanting to use our resources. The best resource of all in creating confident learners of mathematics with a firm grasp of the importance of mathematical proof is to have confident teachers with the freedom to express their own enthusiasm for maths in the classroom.

On another note, I had a piece of excellent news from a former pupil yesterday; he has achieved a First Class Honours degree in Mathematics. He plans to train to become a maths teacher – I shall be keeping a close eye on him to make sure he uses NRICH resources as often as possible!

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