"Make it relevant, make it engaging and make the data work for you relentlessly."
Although Ian Taylor has been doing amazing work around the country helping schools improve at a departmental and middle management level, it is his work as a maths teacher that brought him to national attention.
And we are not talking any ordinary maths teacher either which, when you spend time working wit Ian, you will soon come to understand.
Ian enjoyed a meteoric rise from his first teaching job in one of Middlesbrough’s – ergo one of the UK’s – toughest schools to leading a team of 22 maths departments across a cluster of challenging schools via AST status and a growing reputation nationally for helping all teachers be even better at what they do.
He is an energetic charismatic speaker, eminently practical not only with a clear understanding of school processes and structures but also a point blank refusal to let those structures inhibit teachers from creating innovative, engaging and highly effective lessons to bring the best out of all children.
And by all children, we mean all children - from the disaffected underachiever to the troublesome school refuser to the child who just finds it too hard.
Ian Taylor was one of the most inspirational presenters I have ever experienced on a training course and I wished the staff could’ve all been there”
Our day with Ian Taylor was inspiring, provoking and reassuring. He left us energised about mathematics and how we can teach it very well in our classrooms. He also left us with an attitude and approach to ensuring we develop a depth of mathematical understanding in our children that can ensure a real mastery of the primary curriculum
Thank you so much for the session that you led last week, it was a real tonic which is pretty amazing when we are at the end of a long year and exhausted. You are a bundle of enthusiasm with a realistic grasp of a teacher’s job and offer lots of practical and relevant suggestions
Ian’s philosophy has four clear foundations:
- To develop inspiring and effective lessons using a model of outstanding practice that is mapped very nicely thank you to the new OFSTED framework.
- To ensure that children don’t just learn maths but that they learn maths - or whatever subject he is focusing on at the time – as well as developing lifelong transferable skills including such career enhancing attributes as leadership, communication and effective thinking. (This resonates particularly well with our signature challenge to teachers - what are they learning while you're teaching them?)
- To ensure that the maths department – and again, his philosophy, practice and systems are transferable to other departments too – develop as outstanding and innovative organisations in their own right, sustaining the ideas and input Ian shares with them and then moving on to grow and progress under their own steam.
- And lastly, taking him right back to where he started, to prove to the world that numeracy can be an exciting, enjoyable, accessible, wonderful experience open to all learners.
On top of his highly innovative and successful work within schools he has also found time to write maths software and work nationally to share the four pillars of his work with colleagues from all sorts of schools and backgrounds.
So, if you are looking for a way of not only ensuring that your numeracy levels move in the right direction, but teaching and learning across the whole school get a welcome boost too, then you need look no further.
Oh, and, by the way, we once asked Ian what was his secret for memorable, enjoyable and effective maths teaching?
‘Many young people find maths boring, irrelevant and hard,’ he said. ‘My lessons aren’t like that. At all.’
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