Monday, March 18, 2013

One of Those Days...

I've been watching way too much Keeping Up With The Kardashians in an effort to numb my brain during end of quarter grading, so here it is, the peak and the pit of today.

Pit: The server goes down. In the middle of 5th period. For 2 periods. When I have tablet and Smart Board activities planned for all! Coworkers lost all files. Thank you, Dropbox, for saving my life. 

Peak: My Geometry class bringing a staples "easy" button to class and it exclaiming "That was easy!" every time we successfully finish a tough problem. Special right triangles ain't never been so much fun. 

Notice...the peak is the kids. The pit is all the other nonsense. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013


The most important thing I've learned as a teacher is this:

It is just as important that I learn something new every day as my kiddos learning something new.

This year a new teacher was added into our middle school mix....a wonderful, talented, dedicated teacher who uses her humor to inspire her students. She had previously been working with much younger students, but her certification was in MS math and science and she was called upon to fill a role when we fell one teacher short. She has faced a harsh backlash...mostly from parents who thought of her as an "elementary teacher" and were upset their children didn't have me, the usual MS math teacher. 

But, despite the challenges, I have seen her rise to the occasion and I am so happy she did. I have learned so much about inquiry teaching for her, coming from her science perspective.  I'm feeling particular inspired by her approach to slope right now. No rise over run here....just graphs of proportional relationships in real life and unit rates. These were ideas I grazed before, but she dove in head first and never let the students see an "equation." Yes, this tactic has its drawbacks. But striking a balance between that extreme inquiry and the old school "practice, practice, practice" that stubborn math teachers have held so dear is really where my philosophy of education has settled. I love having a colleague to look to for inspiration and to challenge the way you had previously done things.

There is nothing like the challenge of teaching to keep you an eternal student.