It's a joy doing CPD 'with me'

27th March 2009 at 00:00

I recently attended the only continuing professional development in the year where I am assured of being excited, informed and inspired. Spending the day with more than 400 teachers from all over Scotland may not be everyone's idea of a good day out, but the Scottish Mathematical Council's annual conference is brilliant.

Anne Watson of Oxford University's lecture on "What do we have to learn in order to learn mathematics?" challenged teachers to create a "habit of mind" in pupils that could not just absorb facts, but develop general tools, visualise problems, experiment with ideas and make conjectures.

There were 35 workshops to choose from, a good lunch and dozens of stalls with everything from the latest wireless calculators, eLearning software, textbooks and posters to entrepreneurial teachers peddling reversible protractors.

The HMIE lecture on how the new inspection process works was a breath of fresh air, demonstrating that inspection is to be done "with you", not "to you". Bring it on!

The SMC conference has never failed to send me back to my classroom enthused and inspired. The event, organised by John Tease of Learning and Teaching Scotland, is the only CPD I can say is done "with me" and not "to me".

Andy Tomison, PT mathematics, The Community School of Auchterarder.

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