Louise Miller – Pedagogical leadership in maths

A case study for Learning from the Middle.


Hi, my name’s Louise Miller, I’m a Year 6 classroom teacher alongside being a specialist Maths teacher. I’ve been working in Homai Primary School for two years now, and during that time I’ve been provided with opportunities to develop in a leadership role. I’m responsible for influencing the implementation of teaching as an inquiry in our school.

I oversee two mentees and I help them with their pedagogical content knowledge as well as providing them with opportunities for them to develop as teachers in mathematics.

During our monitoring meetings we meet and we discuss each others .. we have an inquiry question, that’s where my mentees develop a question to help them meet the needs of the students. They are continually reviewing whether they are able to answer this question through each part of the cycle – so whether they have provided the students with enough content knowledge, whether they have provided them with authentic learning activities, whether they maybe need to focus on more content knowledge for themselves as teachers, and from my intervention in that role it also helps my other mentee develop skills and knowledge that they had maybe never thought about before.

So as a leader in that role it helps me to direct both teachers into different areas that they might not have considered before, and it also helps me as a classroom teacher, as well, to practice .. to improve my practice in teaching, and it also helps me to consider other things that I had, maybe, never taken on board before.

I enjoy how I’ve grown as a teacher. I enjoy being part of a real strong foundation of this school. Im enthusiastic about learning – and I think that enthusiasm and the support, and ambition that there is this school – and how Laurayne and Anuja drive that ambition has really encouraged me to go and be more focused, I suppose be more focused on a leadership role.

I don’t know if I would ever want to go into management – but I really enjoy what I do, and I enjoy the opportunities that I’ve had in my mentoring sessions with Anuja to look at other avenues – perhaps facilitation, but the essence for my learning at present is taking it back into my classroom and sharing that with my students. Trying new ideas, and being more developed in my practice and my content knowledge.

Using this case study

  • Being a curriculum leader has helped Louise develop as a teacher and as a leader. How has what you have done as a leader in the school contributed to your knowledge and experience in the classroom?
  • Not everyone wants to be a school leader as Learning from the Middle suggests, and Louise herself. Many people fulfil very important leadership roles in schools without wanting to be the principal or a senior manager. What contributions do you make to the school as a leader, and how can you develop these contributions even further to fulfil a leadership function in the school?

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