Welcome to Episode 2 of my summer video series—Imperfect and Unfinished: Stories for Reflection and Teacher Renewal I know that by the time summer rolls around, many of us are stretched thin—maybe even a bit divided and burnt out. I hope these stories will help us feel more whole so that we can enter the …
Welcome to the first episode of Imperfect and Unfinished: Stories for Reflection and Teacher Renewal. I’m glad you’re here. This summer, I’m inviting us to share our stories with each other as we take time to reflect together and rejuvenate. I hope these stories will help us feel more whole and more connected to the …
This summer, I’m inviting you to take a journey with me to renew our passion for teaching because we all need some renewal, replenishing, and rejuvenation right now—perhaps now more than ever.
Natalie Conway (@AOENatalie) interviewed me on her amazing podcast Adventures in Online Education by @syspresents. A huge thank you to Natalie for supporting my work and for having the courage to be my first interviewer. I encourage you to follow her podcast. Even if you are in the classroom full-time and don’t teach online, her …
“We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” -Joseph Campbell To go further, you must let go. And if, after letting go, you want to go further still, then you must continue the practice of letting go—again and again and …
Are you going to CMC-South? Me too! And I’d love to buy you a coffee or a beverage and learn with you. Keep reading. I’ve been asking the following questions lately: How do we grow as math teachers? How can we get better growing the craft of math teaching? How can we get better growing …
“I am not a math person.”
As we all know, there’s a certain social hazard that comes with our occupation in math education. Folks often feel compelled to tell us their math stories, often declaring (with some amalgam of shame, pride, anger, and resentment): “I am not a math person.” And when they do, we’re left with a choice to make.
Do we defend math? Do we unpack their story more, offer condolences, comfort, or a hug? Do we try to change their mind and convince them that they are a math person? Ignore the comment and shift the conversation? Stare awkwardly into the distance until they walk away? Flee?
The trouble with any of these approaches is that they inevitably lead into (or actively avoid) a conversation about math identities with one side declaring “I am not a math person” and the other side trying to change their mind. And changing someone’s mind about their identity is a terrible context for productive social conversation.
So I’ve started to use this simple and earnest reply: “I am not a math person either.”
The shift has had some profound impacts on how the conversation moves forward, and I want to share more about my approach with you.
Welcome! If you saw my “Us and Math” talk at the Creative Edge conference at West LA College, you’ll find several resources I mention in my talk below. Feel free to scroll ahead to the “Resources” section.
To my regular readers: This post is a little different than my usual posts, but there’s still something in it for you! I gave a 12-minute talk at a creativity conference to a non-math-educator audience that was very different from our usual audiences at math conferences. The premise of the talk was about why and how we need to move the conversation of our math identities beyond the simple polarity of “I am a math person” and “I am not a math person.” (Spoiler Alert: I am not a math person.)
I invite you to watch a screencast of my talk. I’d love to hear what thinking it sparks for you and how we can build the message together.
I had the opportunity to talk about math on a recent episode of “Rad Parenting” hosted by author and self-esteem expert Anea Bogue and comedian and record label owner Joe Sib.
Anea asked me to speak about math in the Common Core era and how parents can best support the mathematical development of their children. You can find the episode here.
In our conversation, I referenced three tips to guide parents in their math conversations with their children. I also mention several resources parents can use to support and guide their efforts. This post recaps those three tips and shares links to resources.
I hope it also starts a math conversation with parents. If you’re a parent and have questions about how best to support your child’s mathematical development, please submit them in the comments on this post. Anea and I hope to have a follow-up conversation on the podcast to answer questions from parents.
My Dilemma I had an experience last week that has me in a professional dilemma, and I’m looking for your input. My dilemma may be emotionally charged to you; it is to me, but I assure you that I want to seek a positive outcome for everyone involved (the student, teacher, parent, and me) in …