Role of a Lead Teacher
The lead teachers play a crucial role in ensuring the success of the Maths-for-Life programme. They are usually responsible for initiating the programme and ensuring each professional development session takes place at a time when all group members can attend. Their role during the sessions is to coordinate and facilitate, and ensure the goals of the session are achieved. The goals not only focus on developing teaching practice, but also collaboratively establishing a common vision, set of priorities, and language. Thus the role should not be viewed as an ‘expert’ sharing ‘best practice’; instead, we have found the programme works best when the lead teacher builds on what teachers already know and do in the classroom.
To establish the current range of practices, priorities and pressures of a group of teachers requires much listening and learning from others. This will be the foundation from which the lead teacher shares the ideas encapsulated in the programme.
The role can be undertaken either as a pair or as a sole lead teacher. The advantage of working in a pair is that both teachers will have different experiences, strengths, and perspectives and can share these when preparing for, and during, the professional development sessions. This in turn will support both teachers' own skills of collaboration with colleagues, and enable them to model, within the professional development session, what good collaboration looks and sounds like.
A discussion about the role, opportunities and challenges of being a lead teacher in the Maths-for-Life programme.