Monday, October 26, 2015

Day 36: NCTM and Failing

The whole purpose of this blog is to keep me centered, to keep me grounded.  Those who read it tell me that one of the things they enjoy the most is my brutal honesty.  When things go well, I talk about them, but I don't hide the things I'm doing wrong.

So I'm going to talk about both today.

On Thursday, it was my great honor and privilege to speak at the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Regional Conference in Atlantic City.  In addition to the honor of speaking, it was an incredible experience to be able to spend time with deeply passionate educators who are willing and able to take time from their busy schedules to gather and discuss issues that will benefit their students.

I was able to spend time with many teachers that I know through Twitter and meet many more.  I was challenged and pushed beyond my comfort zone to consider ideas that will help me to be a better educator.

I learned from Brian Costello, Michael Fenton, Cortni Muir, Adrienne Shlagbaum, Ginny Stuckey, David Wees, Natalie Perez, Suzanne Alejandre, Annie Fetter, Graham Fletcher, Joe Schwartz and the amazing Arjan Khalsa (one of the happiest people I've ever met.)  There were countless others, including the wonderful presenters.  I came back with new ideas and connections.

The entire experience was completely worth using two of my personal days to attend.

If you are interested in the presentation that I gave, you can watch it here, where Brian Costello streamed it though Periscope.

I spent the majority of last week preparing for the conference and getting my classes set up for my absence.

I didn't give NEARLY enough attention to what would happen when I came back.

This was my major failure for this week.

The astronomy kids are almost finished with the chapter.  I don't really have any activities for this topic for all sort of reasons which could be seen as excuses.  I haven't sent the next chapter to the printer yet so I'm delaying a bit.

We did notes.  We talked about solar eclipses today.  It was fine.

It was notes.

It wasn't as exciting as I would like it to be.  I have a Powerpoint already set up, so I just need to move through it and talk, answering questions and letting the kids drag off on tangents as much as possible.

A student asked how the moon got the craters and I happily showed videos of meteors.

The "math teacher who is beholden to standard tests" in me is screaming.  The lazy teacher in me who doesn't want classes to be at different spots in the content is weeping softly.

I need to remember that no matter what events I may have today, there is always going to be tomorrow.  I need to not leave those days unplanned.

So I know what I'm doing tonight, aside from looking at the moon through my new telescope...

1 comment:

  1. Justin, It was great seeing you at the conference and having the chance to talk and get to know you better. Normally at a conference like this I would spend time with the teachers from my district and not move out of that zone. Becoming part of the MTBoS has expanded my circle of colleagues in a way I never could have imagined, and having the chance to connect in person makes the virtual connections much stronger. As always, it's a pleasure to follow you through your 180 day adventure.
    And it was a beautiful moon last night here in New Jersey too.


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