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Mathematics Specialist Teacher. Anyone?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by minnieminx, Jun 27, 2011.

  1. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Have any of you done this? Are you MaSTs? Do you have one in your school?

    I have the opportunity to start in October, but wondered how other people have found the workload and what difference it makes to your school.

    Obviously I've been to a presentation and listened to the, carefully selected I'm sure, MaSTs talking about their experience, but wondered about the rest of you.

    Will it be the best thing I've ever done, or the biggest headache?
  2. razziegyp

    razziegyp New commenter

    Tell us what you know about it Minnie...I've not heard of it but would be interested to learn more. Are we still talking Primary here?
  3. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Yes, definitely primary.

  4. CarrieV

    CarrieV Lead commenter

    I am! ( or at least I should be in october once I have handed my 5,000 word research project in and hopefully pass!)
    Different authorities have viewed the course in different ways. Some are very much " framework based" looking at ideas and opportunities for development linked to the Renewed Framework. My authority is not, our course is based round ideas such as representation, mathematical thinking, proportionality,pattern etc. I find it quite fascinating and pretty relevant to what we do in school, it has certainly affected how I teach ( although probably not what!) But it is hard work, deadlines for assignments don't always fit comfortably into school life and the college can be rather unrealistic in expectations at times! ( However I am the first cohort, so we were a bit of an experiment, the second cohort are having a much easier time of it!). I am pretty unpopular with my colleagues at times ( "I just need you to participate in a collaborative partnership with me" "Sod-off, I haven't got time!) but they generally take it in good humour!
    It's great fun, if you like sitting round with a group of maths mad like minded teachers who can spend hours discussing the implications of introducing algebra in Reception classes!
  5. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    LOLOLOL HOW did I know you would have done it/being doing it/about to do it!

    LOL I might carefully pick and choose which colleagues I work with. Luckily I think there is at least one in each phase who doesn't already think I'm a total nuisance!
    Yessssss! Heaven on a plate! Definitely going to do it now...and the reception teacher likes me. Actually let's aim high, the nursery teacher does as well!
  6. CarrieV

    CarrieV Lead commenter

    One of the problems I have is that working with colleagues is a MAJOR part of the course for us. Unfortunately I only have two colleagues ( apart from an NQT who has enough on her plate as I'm her mentor too!) to work with, so it seems as if I'm ALWAYs asking them to be involved. In a much larger school you can, at least, spread the misery round a bit!
  7. CarrieV

    CarrieV Lead commenter

    Just watch it, I might possibly take offence[​IMG]
  8. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    I'm luckily in a huge school (15 classes, 16 if you count morning and afternoon nursery as 2) and the LA seemed to be keen on inter-school work as well.

    Not stepping on the toes of the maths subject leader might be an issue though.
  9. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Oooops! LOL Sooo scary...I need to come and visit your school, just to reassure myself you aren't me!
  10. CarrieV

    CarrieV Lead commenter

    Hmm, could be-although there are some on my course who are NOT the maths subject leader in their school,the majority are. It has meant I can implement much of what I want, ( maths is now on the SDP, I run staff meeting ona regular basis, introduced a new calculations and mental maths policy etc which would generally be in the remit of the subject leader) so might be tricky if you have your own ideas. Your best bet might be to have a word with your subject leader and look at areas you CAN get involved in without treading on anyones toes!
  11. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter


    HT is aware of the sensitivities of the situation and has given me his full support to just get on and improve the teaching and learning of maths in school. Maths is already on the SDP/SIP/S*P/whatever and has been for a while with nothing happening. Running staff meetings is fine as long as I concentrate on what will be my area, ie improving/modernising teaching and learning of maths in a day to day in lessons manner.
  12. CarrieV

    CarrieV Lead commenter

    Well, if you have the Head on your side, half the battle is won!
    Go for it, and good luck.
  13. Hi
    I am doing this course and it is drawing to the end which I am kind of thankful for. It has been very enjoyable and I have learnt a lot. However, it has been a lot of hard work and scheduling essays around school committments has been tricky; especially when timings of assignments seem to coincide with school reports etc as the first essay did at my uni.
    It was good just meeting with people from the LA to talk maths and it has improved my maths teaching no end; it has also improved teaching in my school although in a less marked way!
    The one thing I would be wary of is whether the financial committment is there. We have had meetings in school time (with paid supply) as well as two residential weekends to get most of the lectures done in one go. I have heard for my LA (Nottingham) that meetings will have to be done outside of school time and that there will be no residentials so more Saturday morning lectures.
    I have found it fun, rewarding but hard work so will be glad to have one less thing on my plate come Septemeber!
  14. I am in my second year, finish in January thank God! It's a lot of extra work; personal learning logs to complete and submit, core readings to read, activities to do, a visit to KS3 and 2 long assignments. We were the first cohort and so the guniea pigs. We had to go to university 5 saturdays including one residential per year which were good. Some material/lectures were utterly rubbish. However, being the first cohort there was a cash incentive of £1000 at the end of the first year and £2000 (which I think may be now £1000) at the end of the second year which has eased the thought of the workload I've got to do between now and October which is when the first submission of last assignment has to be in.

    Overall I've learnt a bit but don't feel ready to be a Maths Specialist Teacher! I've enjoyed bits but hated most. The best bit has been the LA meetings. There are only 9 of us and we get on great and have a fab maths consultant leading each meeting. Would I do it again? With cash incentive yes, without it, probably not.
  15. I'm also on the second year and think it's been excellent CPD but as cbdixon says wthout the cash incentive I'm not sure I would have done it? But maybe! It is a lot of work, but has improved my teaching and given me lots more confidence in advising others (and I kind of thought of myself as a maths specialist to begin with!).
    We haven't done a KS3 visit though that sounds interesting.
    Also can I ask where you've heard about this year's money?
  16. CarrieV

    CarrieV Lead commenter

    We have had terrible trouble getting our money! The first payment was due in November, we've only just got it-and it has been taxed when we were originally promised it wouldn't be! Heaven knows if we will get the second! ( not that any of us did it for the money you understand[​IMG])
  17. We heard about it from our maths consultant with regards to money incentive. Ours was also taxed, etc. and for me worked out at around £650...but better than nothing definitely!
  18. Leicester_Vics

    Leicester_Vics New commenter

    I'm just finishing my first year on this and have to disagree that the second cohort have had it easier! My LA don't seem to have learnt from cohort 1's mistake AND I'm not getting any financial benefit from the course!

    I am enjoying it (and that's coming from a complete mathsphobe!) BUT it is a lot of work! I'm just about to go and finish my 2nd assignment, which has been timed to perfection to clash with report writing, end of year assessments, residentials, leaver's performance practice etc!

    I'm not maths coordinator at my school but have support from the SL to work on stuff! Freaking out about the whole school project next year though!
  19. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    WOW thank you all for those replies.

    Much as I thought about workload. The personal log worries me a bit as I am a last minute person. I can see myself frantically writing 3 months worth 2 days before handing it in. My HT is pretty accommodating and so might let me hand in reports late or something if there was a clash.

    I will have 5 or 6 afternoons a year out of school, school to meet the cost of supply cover. Then a couple of Saturdays and an Easter school each year. Doesn't seem too bad...

    Funding for the course is only definitely met this year though. Schools may have to cough up £2000 for the second year, which my HT is less keen on. But said I should do it anyway and we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

    Cash incentive??????? I wish!

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