Classroom Conversations - Lesson Design

Cicero once said that "for the one point in which we have our very greatest advantage over the brute creation is that we hold converse one with another, and can reproduce our thought in word".

Since teachers are often in classrooms teaching, separated from each other by the walls of the classroom, our staff rooms are places where we can talk about pedagogy, student care, ethics and the habits of our own subjects and stages. That we hold conversations together is central to the health of our staff; we can disagree, learn from one another, and be surprised by one another as we try to articulate to one another what it is we are doing in the classroom.

This virtual staffroom brings together likely and unlikely conversation partners in pursuit of this question.

Dr Sarah Golsby-Smith brings together Maths teachers from Kindergarten all the way through to top levels in the HSC. Having sat in all of these classrooms, Sarah was fascinated to see the threads running through the pedagogy of all three. Alice, Dianne and Valanto all talk about setting up a problem for the students to walk into, such that their girls must reach for mathematical thinking to solve. Enjoy!

Classroom Conversations


When designing my Maths lessons, I look at the topic I am teaching and the students in my class, then I decide what strategies I will use to best suit my students.

Ms Valanto Rossides

Dr Sarah Golsby-Smith

Head of Learning and Teaching at PLC Sydney

Sarah has also taught in both government and independent schools, as well as across co-ed and both single sex schools i.e. girls schools and boys schools.