Wednesday, July 27, 2016

MfA

I did not want to write this post...

I have been waiting for this day for the last several months.  Today would be the day that I found out whether or not I got into Math for America.  

I didn't... and that sucks.  But I'll be OK.

I found out yesterday.  It caught me off guard and I wasn't expecting it.  After last week's interview, I felt good.  After all, I had made it that far.  Mentally, I saw myself getting in.  I knew how I would feel, I knew how I would celebrate.  Man, I really wanted it.

So now what?  First, I gave myself permission to feel bad (at least for a little bit).  Yeah, this sucks.  I wanted to get in.  I worked for it.  I would be a better teacher because of it.  So yeah, I'm sad and a little angry.  I would also be lying if I said that a part of myself didn't feel personally hurt because the subject that I have struggled with many times as a student, once again got the best of me - maybe I'm just not good at math.

But then I realized that that just wasn't true.  I have worked my butt off to get where I am today.  I have failed in math before, and come have back from it.  I am just not in Math for America, yet.

I tell my students that everyone is a mathematician.  Everyone can think mathematically.  There is literally no end to where you can go in math.  So what kind of teacher would I be, if I took this failure, and just gave up?  I would be a hypocrite.  And middle schoolers pick that up fast.  So that is just not OK.  If I want my students to be mathematicians, I need to be be a mathematician right there with them.  

So, what does this mean?  I need to dig deeper into my own mathematical practice.  I already do do this to some degree, but it's time to step up my game, and I think this blog can a good vehicle for that.  Originally I started this blog to focus on my teaching (which I will still most definitely do) but I also want to use it to reflect on math that I am learning.  I think I'll start exploring with Khan Academy and Desmos and make sure I connect with other math teachers looking to do math on the MTBoS.  Plus I'll be teaching Algebra 1 next year, so that alone will open me up to new things.  After all, I plan on interviewing for Math for America again next year, and I want what I share in my interview to be good ;)

Not getting into MfA this year simply means that I have more math to learn.  And the more I think about it, this could be really cool for my classroom this year because I'll be getting messy with mathematics, just like I want my students to.  We can explore our ideas, and apply new concepts, and invent hypothesis and argue with each other and question why and prove our reasoning... we will be doing math together.  And it will be great.

I will be a better math teacher because of this.  

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