2020 Review – Do it Anyway!

At the start of 2020 I had a plan. It was a plan to deliver high quality services and to build Authentic Maths into being a sustainable business.

As for most people, in March everything changed. Although my CPD is of great value to schools and teachers, in general it has not been high enough up their priority list for schools to book training or for teachers to watch training videos.

This has created a step-change in Authentic Maths and in my life. I no longer expect Authentic Maths ever to be a successful commercial business. If it covers its costs that would be great. If it doesn’t, I will just do what I can as and when I can. I listened to a radio 4 program about a man who dedicated his life to notating Georgian Chant music because he was scared it would disappear after the Soviets arrived. His musical scores sat in a box for 50 years before they stimulated a cultural resurgence. I identify more with that idea now than with any business model.

Instead of investing the small amount of money I had saved in Authentic Maths, I invested it in turning my house into an AirBnB so I can let it when I’m not there. This should give me the money I need to get from today to tomorrow without relying on Authentic Maths.

In April, instead of making videos for teachers, I found myself making videos for the parents of the primary school children who were miles behind with their maths and who were unable to engage with the work being sent home from school during lockdown. I gradually completed videos on teaching every topic in years 3-6.

My videos have received international acclaim from top educators around the world and in May I had the enormous honour of being invited to present the workshop on the future of primary maths teaching at the top international educators’ conference during lockdown, the Toddle PYP TIES conference. A recording of my workshop (with over 1000 educators present) is available here.

During lockdown I also had the huge privilege of starting to work with Jeff Kutcher, who has created many free-to-download worksheets which complement my videos.

As promised, when I reached more than 1000 subscribers on my YouTube Channel, I started to livestream every Sunday morning. These livestreams are available here.

I’ve also continued to nurture other projects in maths education, including Ed Staples work on TIPS (for teachers of students aged 16-18) and the associated discussions in my maths education group on LinkedIn. I’ve also continued to run training in schools (when possible this year) and to tutor (online).

I’d like to finish this blog by thanking everyone who has interacted with my videos this year – especially those who have sent me questions and comments. You are the lifeblood of Authentic Maths!

Key stats for Authentic Maths in 2020

Expert Primary Maths Teaching Facebook Group: 7463 members

RebeccaTheMathsLady YouTube Channel: 1740 subscribers (1640 new this year)
Video Views in 2020: 41 800
Watch Time (minutes) in 2020: 119 500 minutes
800 video likes.
260 comments on YouTube.

A realistic estimate would be that 5000 maths CPD videos have been watched in full. That’s a lot of children who will benefit from their teachers having more strategies for teaching maths!

It’s nowhere near enough to earn any money at all from YouTube just in case anyone was wondering!

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