Originally posted on El Timbre Blog, 14 Feb 2015
- A loud or confusing noise.
- A confused situation.
I find myself sitting in the middle of a dilemma while wrapped up in a dichotomy. The feeling of wanting something to work so much, I'm almost blind to the fact that it's not going to work as things stand.
It's a strange situation to be in.
When the Local Authority Education departments all disappeared, and the National Strategy Advisors lost their jobs, a gaping hole was left in their place. Some teachers relished this, happy to go their own way. Academy chains became islands. Other teachers missed that camaraderie and the feeling of not being alone. They missed thrashing out ideas and supporting peers. They missed the great feeling of working through a problem collaboratively and sharing their experience.
And lo... These teachers reached out and found each other through the medium of Twitter.
I tweeted earlier:
...and I genuinely believe this. We identified a gap and filled it for ourselves.
The DfE also identified this gap, and came up with the idea of the Maths Hubs. Centres of Excellence dotted throughout the country, where teachers could collaborate and develop.
I read the Storify log of the NCETM's #mathscpdchat (held in March 2014) in preparation for writing this post. Lots of contrasting ideas and concerns - most of which still stand one year on. Have a read and you'll see what I mean.
I very much enjoyed the Celebration of Maths event, held by the White Rose Maths Hub in Leeds. This was held on a Saturday, so there was no problem with missing classes or travelling. However, the event highlighted a few things that I am not sure can be immediately addressed - mainly the problem that for a lot of us, this type of collaboration is not new. How can you differentiate for us? Or are the Hubs not meant for teachers like me?
I was embarrassed last year when I found out that a Launch Event had happened for a local hub without me knowing about it. I should have been there. The idea of hubs is a good one. Filling the gap is imperative. There's a MASSIVE group of us who are already collaborating - we can help...
We want to collaborate with other maths teachers.
We want to share.
We want to develop our own practice.
We want to help others develop theirs.
We know that others want to do the same.
But... we have barriers to overcome before the Hubs idea will work.
Logistics - my "local" hubs are both about 70 miles away.
Communication - will the new Hubs website help with this?
Confused message - do I have one hub? Two? Three?
Impact - with different parts of the country having a different Hubs-diet, how can this be measured or even seen?
Should such initiatives be TOP DOWN rather than GROUND UP?
I have so much to offer, but the obstacles are almost too much to surmount. THIS is my dichotomy. I already feel like I'm missing out through no fault of my own...