- Published: 15/12/2020
THANK YOU, on behalf of the NCETM, to all teachers for their efforts to maintain young people’s education in 2020.
Our education system is a key part of the fabric of our society and maintaining it through the Covid crisis is crucial. Our efforts to understand the spread of the pandemic and so try to minimize its impact, the dedicated work of the health care professionals to help those infected, and the scientists developing the vaccines that now bring us hope that the worst of the crisis may be over; these are all underpinned by the education received by individuals in previous decades. For our society to recover from the shock of the pandemic and continue to develop and thrive, the education of the current generation is also vital.
For all teachers, 2020 has been a year of unprecedented challenges. At the NCETM and the Maths Hubs we have been trying to do all we can to support teachers of maths. However, we are acutely aware that the rapidly changing circumstances have made it very difficult for teachers to engage with any activities beyond doing their best to address the immediate crises in their schools and at home.
The work of the NCETM and the Maths Hubs is underpinned by fostering a culture of collaboration and support between teachers of maths, both within their own schools and between schools. In the current crisis, a key role for the Maths Hubs is to help teachers of maths in their regions to share experiences and ideas to help address the disruption to young people’s maths education.
Opportunities for professional development (PD), much of which is directly relevant to addressing the disruption in schools and colleges caused by the current crisis, are available through the NCETM and the Maths Hubs. Feedback from teachers suggests that those who have been able to engage with our PD so far this academic year have greatly appreciated it. As well as providing direct professional support, engaging constructively with others through PD can have a positive effect on wellbeing.
Unfortunately, current circumstances in schools mean that many teachers simply do not have the capacity to engage with PD. I have heard that some teachers of maths, particularly those who had signed up to programmes before the level of disruption in schools was fully understood, feel guilty that they are unable to take part, that they are failing in some way. Please do not feel this! You are doing an incredible job by doing all you can to keep your pupils’ maths education on track. If you are in this situation, don’t feel guilty that you can’t do all that you had hoped you could; instead feel proud that you are committed to doing a vital job in such challenging times.
I hope you are all able to enjoy a well-deserved break over Christmas.