Introducing the Common Room – Networking for Scholars and Alumni
Once you become a Maths Scholar, you join a large network which is made up of both current Scholars and Alumni. All Maths Scholars are invited to become Alumni once their training year is over, meaning that the Scholar community includes brand new Maths Scholars, as well as experienced teachers, some of whom could have been teaching for five years or more.
How can all that enthusiasm, experience and wisdom be shared, multiplied and enjoyed? One answer is the Common Room. This is a networking event which is open to all current Maths Scholars and hosted by members of our Alumni, taking place once a term online.
How is the Common Room different from other CPD?
A lot of the fantastic CPD which is offered to Maths Scholars is delivered by experts and has highly focused content, with previous events including using Desmos or how to make Mathematical Art in the classroom. The Common Room is a little bit different from this. It is an informal space where Scholars and Alumni can mingle and share resources in a relaxed but purposeful way.
The Common Room takes place using a social networking platform where people can meet and talk, and which can be freely accessed from any laptop or desktop computer. The great thing about social networking platforms is that is that you can connect with others spontaneously and move around freely between groups so it's fun, creative and energising.
Sharing resources and ideas in the Common Room
Everyone who signs up to attend the Common Room will be encouraged to bring resources, ideas and questions along to the event. The great thing about teachers is that conversation never runs dry, meaning that you won’t need to worry about any awkward silences. Make sure you bring a pen and paper or another way of collecting what you learn in the Common Room.
Meeting Scholars from beyond your ITT course
Attending the Common Room is an excellent opportunity to meet Scholars and Alumni from beyond your ITT course. You might be doing a PGCE with lots of other maths trainees, but equally you could be the only maths specialist on a Schools Direct course. Either way, in the Common Room you will expand your network of contacts and get to ask questions which you might not want to ask your ITT provider on a day to day basis. You will meet new teachers from other parts of the country who are ready to share different ideas, resources and techniques. One of the exciting things about networking is that you never know who you are going to meet and what you are going to find out!
Benefits for more experienced Alumni teachers
The Common Room is designed to benefit Alumni just as much as current Scholars. Trainee teachers are often filled with fresh new ideas and heaps of enthusiasm which can be just what a more experienced teacher needs. Spending a couple of hours with other passionate maths teachers can refill the tanks and give a welcome boost!
The Common Room – fully online
The Common Room is fully online which means that it will only take up a small amount of your time – there is no travelling involved which is perfect for the busy Maths Scholar.
Making the most of your Maths Scholarship
To make the most of your Maths Scholarship it is important to get involved with as much as you can, because the more you put in, the more you will get out. The Common Room gives an easy way to meet other Scholars and Alumni, and you will never know who you will meet unless you are there! You also have an important contribution to make – as every Maths Scholar has been selected for their passion, enthusiasm and potential as an inspirational mathematics teacher. Think about how you could help share what you have learnt with others and what you might have to bring to the table.
By Hazel Lewis
Stay up-to-date with the latest news regarding The Common Room and discuss the events by using the hashtag #MTTSCommonRoom on Twitter.