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Maths..by Steve Kay, Managing Director

Last night I attended a maths class at Joshua’s primary school. There I was sat on a plastic red chair, in a year six class room, barely able to get my knees under the table. Only three days before I had been invited to teach some teachers about NLP and here I was ‘tables turned’ (A metaphor)

The teacher was great, he started off telling us the reason why the school were changing the maths curriculum. Now let me tell you the current secretary of state for education is regarded by some teachers as a bit of a ‘tough villain’ who wants kids to learn by rote, like he did in the early seventies at his public school.

But here was Mr. C explaining that the government had researched education in other countries to look at how they got excellent results and also exam results in the UK. He explained that research demonstrated that children doing exams at sixteen years of age who got a ‘D’ (a fail, or as we would say, not the result I wanted!) were often just as intelligent as kids who got a ‘C’. BUT they were slower in answering the questions!

This where we got back to basics. If children could use faster methods they would get more marks! So an end to ‘Super Chunking’ and back to ‘long division’, “yeh!” said the mums and dads.

Mr. C also said if a child can recite their times tables then it helps with most maths! But apparently in tables there are 78 to remember. E.G. 4 x 5 = 20. But he informed us, if you take out the ones, twos and tens, there are only 45 to learn and if you remember every nine adds up to a nine that’s only 36 to learn! Oh and wait, if you take out the fives because they are half of 10, there are eight of them, that’s 29 having taken out the 10 x 5!

We like simplicity. The best people we work with keep things simple. There are ten commandments but Jesus cut it down to two. “Love thy neighbour and love thy self!”

Let’s start by making things simple. If your job is an IT manager, then don’t call your self “Head of Information System Solutions, Europe and South East Asia.” You can’t fit it on a business card for one thing and every one else still calls you the ‘IT department!’

And finally if you keep things simple you remember your purpose, why you became a nurse or a police officer in the first place and its important that you keep reminding your team of that every day, particularly when they are facing cut backs and change!

Mr. C is a brilliant teacher because he tells the kids ‘why’ they are learning something, he gives them ‘simple methodologies’, he makes it ‘fun’ and he gives ‘praise.’ You can do those four simple things with your team can’t you?

If you still don’t get it, contact the office on 01332 856396 and book on a course!