Maths Scholars and Maths teachers need Twitter
Social media has revolutionised the way we communicate
Yes, we’ve read the scare stories and we’ve seen some of the negative aspects but….. we have to say that using Twitter for CPD, for reaching out and actually building a community has been absolutely fantastic.
The Maths Scholars scheme joined Twitter just a couple of years ago
Our aim was to become known and for students and career changers to see that becoming a Maths Scholar would be advantageous. We made the decision to keep our community small; that is we would only follow people who were immersed in Maths Education in the main. We believed that diluting the community to simply grow numbers was not appropriate for our message. Right now we have around 1600 followers and we are following 1800.
This may seem modest compared to some accounts but the community is incredibly supportive and we know our messages about the Maths Scholars scheme are shared and seen by people that support us. This was evident when we asked the question: ‘how does Twitter help you as a Maths teacher? Here are some of the many responses we received.
It is incredible how a close-knit community is always so supportive and allows its members to ask questions, request feedback, solve problems and generally be supportive.
This is especially important when you start out as an NQT and the job seems completely overwhelming. Sometimes it’s easier to converse with ‘strangers’ than colleagues. It’s also reassuring to know that you are not the only people to experience of fear or inadequacy. It’s great to know that others have experienced the same feelings and have got through them.
When trying to develop a growth mindset it’s valuable to see what other people are doing and be aware there are 101 ways to improve and develop. If we ask the students to adopt this open minded and positive approach we need to do exactly the same. As Dr. Tom Bennison says in his interview: ‘we can always learn something.
Dr Tom has much to say about textbooks too in the same blog. The problem with a textbook is that it always seemed to be set in stone. It was such a massive amount of work to create a textbook and it always took much cost, effort and time. Therefore it was unlikely to be updated that often. With social media new ideas can be suggested and trialed very quickly. Twitter, for example, is a much more dynamic platform than any conventional textbook. Teachers can really keep abreast with attitudes, opinions, news, good practice and CPD all in one place.
This is not a bad thing either. Teaching is extraordinarily inspirational as a career but it also takes a lot out of teachers. Every well needs refilling if it’s not to run dry. Tweets from friends and even people further out in the community solar system can cheer you up enormously. Twitter is the chance to moan, share, commiserate, celebrate and inspire.
The other really important and significant aspect of a twitter group is that teachers and educators from all parts of the spectrum will always help. In addition teachers from all ages, geographical areas and experience add something new to the debate. How brilliant to have so many opinions rubbing shoulders every single day.
We encourage all our Maths scholars to be part of the Twitter Maths community and if you aren’t following us then why not join in today?
We are @Beamathsteacher.
In addition we would just like to remind everyone that some scholarships are still available. Therefore is you have been accepted for an initial teacher training course starting September 2016 then you can still apply. Find more information about the Maths Scholars scholarship scheme right here. If you want some inspiration then do click onto our video testimonial page and see just what being a Maths Scholar has done for recipients.
If you want to keep up with what’s happening in the maths community and beyond then why not bookmark the Maths Scholars blog too, after all, mathematical discovery is thrilling!