Tag: TMC17

TMC17 Highlights and Shout-outs

I’ve been back from Twitter Math Camp for more than a day. I guess that means it’s time to reflect on some of the best parts and to recognize some people who made the experience wonderful.

Dylan Kane was a great roommate. I’d never met him before TMC, so I wasn’t sure quite what I was getting myself into. But he was supportive and insightful. I’m glad I know him, and I look forward to talking to him more in the future. He’s @math8_teacher on Twitter and is definitely worth a follow.

Chris Luzniak was my mentor. His exuberance helped make my first TMC an amazing experience. I’m so thankful for Chris’s kindness and good humor. I probably wouldn’t have talked to anyone if he hadn’t forced me to meet so many people on the first day!

Chris and Mattie B led the three-day “Talk Less, Smile More” session. I learned so much about bringing discussion into the math classroom, and I’m super excited to get my students talking this year. I already have a fun Talking Points activity planned for the first few days. I look forward to using some of Chris and Mattie’s ideas to make my classroom into a richer learning environment for everyone.

Grace Chen delivered an amazing keynote! Her talked both saddened me and inspired me. As Grace showed, the deck is stacked against many people, and by their designs, systems in this country often work to prevent marginalized peoples from getting ahead. Grace’s thoughtfulness and passion cannot be denied. I’m so glad to have met her. I strongly encourage you to follow her on Twitter @graceachen. You won’t regret it!

I took a risk and talked to Sammie Marshall on Thursday. She listened to my rambling thoughts about diversity at my school, promoting tolerance, and supporting students from marginalized groups. These can be challenging topics to discuss, so I’m thankful for the opportunity to talk to someone as open-minded and as understanding as Sammie. She has a blog, and I really hope she starts writing more frequently!

I enjoyed Chris Shore‘s  Clothesline Math session so much that I went to a second session he held the following day! Chris’s enthusiasm made his session an absolute blast, and Clothesline Math seems like a fantastic way to build number sense. I’m looking forward to using the clothesline this fall. I have a feeling it’s going to make a big difference with my students. Chris is on Twitter (@MathProjects), and even if he’s only 10% as awesome online as he was in person, that’s still pretty darn awesome!

Sam Shah is just an awesome guy. I told him about the Quote Board at the newbie dinner, and he urged me to blog about it. Who can say no to Sam Shah?! The post proved quite popular, which is a nice affirmation of the work I’ve done to build a strong classroom culture. I’ve read Sam’s blog for years, so I truly enjoyed meeting him. Thanks, Sam, for being awesome and for giving me a confidence boost!

Major shout-out Lisa Bejarano who was one of the first people I met and talked with. Her kindness and her support definitely helped me feel more comfortable. Lisa came up to me and complimented me on The Terror of Twitter Math Camp at a point when I didn’t think anyone even looked at it! I haven’t read her blog yet, but I’m looking forward to exploring it!

Shout-out as well to Deb Boden who talked to me every day – even after I’d forgotten that we’d met on the first day! Deb is just one of the many kind, welcoming people I met at TMC. Thanks to Deb and everyone else for making me feel like part of the TMC community.

I had an awesome conversation with Scott Miller on Friday while walking back to the hotel. Scott had some great advice on introducing new ideas to colleagues. I hope to demonstrate some of what I learned at TMC to my colleagues and let them actually experience the math!

I met Kate Nowak at Rose and Crown after Descon17. I’d read her blog many times over the years, so it was exciting to actually talk to her. We talked about Illustrative Math and curriculum in general. I’m looking forward to taking a deeper look at IM this year to see if it would be a good fit for my school. And I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Kate, who has blogged twice in the past week, will keep up the pace!

Plenty of other people made TMC17 memorable for me. Thanks to everyone for creating such a welcoming and enriching environment. I’m so excited for TMC18 in Cleveland!!!

The Joy of Twitter Math Camp

On Thursday, I wrote about The Terror of Twitter Math Camp. Three amazing, inspiring, mind-blowing, thought-provoking, deeply moving days later and I’m ready to write the sequel.

I am a math teacher, but I don’t teach math.
I teach people.
People make me nervous.
And anxious.
And uncomfortable.
But I work with people every day.
All day.
And I’m at a conference with people.
Who make me nervous.
And anxious.
And uncomfortable.
But they don’t do that.
I do that.
They talk to me.
And laugh with me.
And sit next to me.
And shake my hand.
And listen to me.
And smile at me.
And some of them feel the same way I feel.
And anxious.
And uncomfortable.
Maybe they think I make them feel that way.
But I don’t.
I talk to them.
And laugh with them.
And sit next to them.
And shake their hands.
And listen to them.
And smile at them.
But sometimes I don’t do any of that.
Sometimes I don’t talk to anyone.
I don’t laugh
I sit by myself.
I don’t look at anyone.
I don’t smile.
And sometimes they do all of that too.
Even though they teach people.
And work with people every day.
All day.
And they’re at a conference with people.
The same conference I’m at with people.
Because we want to be better math teachers.
Who don’t teach math.
We teach people.
People who make us nervous.
And anxious.
And uncomfortable.
I don’t know why I do it.
Or why they do it.
But I know exactly why.
Because I love people.
I care about people.
I want to help people.
I want to support people.
Even though people make me nervous.
And anxious.
And uncomfortable.
And that’s why I’m here and why they’re here.
And that’s why we share.
Even when we’re nervous.
And that’s why we talk.
Even when we’re anxious.
And that’s why we smile.
Even when we’re uncomfortable.
Because even though it doesn’t feel good.
It feels amazing.
And inspiring.
And wonderful.
And better than anything else in the world.
Just to make one student.
Even only one student.
More successful. Happier. Stronger. Kinder. Wiser. More confident.
To make one student into the person that student wants to be.
No matter what.
To make that student’s life better.
I can be nervous.
And anxious.
And uncomfortable.
For as long as I live.
But it’s worth it.
For that one student.
Even only one student.

Thank you all for the kindness, for the support, for the friendship, for the wisdom, for the generosity, for the hundreds of small gestures that made my time here so meaningful.

The Terror of Twitter Math Camp

I don’t know who to talk to or what to say or where to stand or when to get involved or oh my gosh what do I do with my hands when I’m standing here shouldn’t talking to people be easier but it just seems so forced and am I thinking too long or not long enough and am I staring did I nod enough or too much am I agreeing too much do I need to jump in here what is this person’s name again do they even know I’m here why am I here anyway but maybe I’m doing okay or maybe not you can make it through this I know you can I know you can I know you can just be yourself but not too much yourself don’t seem crazy or strange or weird or insane or maybe just don’t worry about what anybody else is saying or doing but are they judging me and do I even care wait have I said anything lately what’s the right thing to say did someone just say that make sure to nod again smile not too much that looks creepy keep going you’re doing okay you can do this you can do this you can do this it will all be over eventually just hang in there it’s not that bad you will be stronger because of this it’s about the learning am I thinking too much again quick smile and nod and agree and make eye contact okay that’s too much eye contact don’t scare people but you don’t need to stare at their shoes either and make sure to smile and nod and don’t look uncomfortable but don’t look like you’re trying not to look uncomfortable and make sure to say something but not something obvious and don’t make jokes unless they’re good jokes how do I know if that’s funny anyway and do I laugh at my own joke and if someone else makes a joke laugh but not too much because nobody likes someone who laughs too much I don’t think I’ve blinked lately do people usually have to remember to blink or is that just me now I’m blinking too much okay maybe there’s something in my eye play it off okay smile again and nod yes I agree okay good it was nice meeting you okay have a good afternoon see you later I’ll try to be more normal I promise I promise I can do better trust me I’m just like all of you and I really want to be here I really do I really do I really do deep breaths deep breaths deep breaths deep breaths