Showing posts from May, 2009


I'm currently reading Mindset, by Carol S Dweck (soon to be appearing at the Scottish Learning Festival!). In a nutshell, her thesis is this:
Everyone has one of two basic mindsets.  If you have the fixed mindset, you believe that your talents and abilities are set in stone - either you have them or you don't.  You must prove yourself over and over, trying to look smart and talented at all costs.  This is the path of stagnation.  If you have a growth mindset, however, you know that talents can be developed at that great abilities are built over time.  This is the path of opportunity and success.
This makes a lot of sense to me.  I have inevitably been wondering about the mindsets of those around me, and about my own mindset.  It would be indiscreet to try to judge others here, so I'll do a bit of navel gazing!

I most definitely grew up with the fixed mindset.  I caught it from my Mum (notice that those with the fixed mindset tend to look outside themselves for things to blame…


I spent last Wednesday interviewing for a new ftp member of the maths department.  We had a great set of interviewees and I would have been delighted to have almost all of them in our team.

10 years ago I decided to move on from Newbattle High School, and began applying for other teaching jobs in what was a very competitive environment.  When I eventually secured a position at North Berwick High School it was the 13th job that I had applied for. I had a dozen unsuccessful interviews!  So I know a little bit about how it feels to get the phone call that isn't good news - and how unsatisfying it is when you are told that it was a tough decision.  So it is with some hesitation that I say that it was, indeed, a tough decision.

I'd like to thank all those who applied.  The strength of the candidates, many of whom were NQTs, gives me great hope for the future of our profession.

Let's Work Together

As maths departments across the country consider how to deliver a Curriculum for Excellence, we are all looking at potentially useful resources on the Web.

Let's not do that job hundreds of times over in isolation. Let's do it together in a way that enables us to build on each other's discoveries, and refine our judgements about which resources really help to deliver excellence.

Staff at Angus Council have done a power of work to list resources for each outcome in the maths and numeracy documents. But at present this list is only available within Glow, and is in a static format.

At North Berwick High School, we began transferring all our lists of hyperlinks to some time ago, at and today I discovered a much more extensive collection at, which tags every link with the code for a specific outcome.

From now on we will be using the same tags for maths links when I add them to d…