If you’re reading this blog for the first time, you’re now part of something big. Something special. Something empowering. You’re now part of the MathTwitterBlogosphere.
What you do next is completely up to you, but the members of the MTBoS want you to stay and explore. Looking back, I remember being in the exact same position you’re in right now. I won’t tell you to stay because that’s not how this works.
I will only share one of many reasons why I never left.
For me, learning math has always been messy. It doesn’t come bundled up in a 60 minute lesson. It doesn’t hang on the wall in a cute mass produced poster. It doesn’t come from a pre-packaged “cookie cutter” program. It happens when I talk less and students talk more. It happens when curious minds are developed and encouraged through exploration. The only problem I had was that math shouldn’t be taught that way, especially in elementary schools.
I’d spend countless hours looking for ideas to engage students in mathematics and found limited resources. My pedagogy is heavily grounded in the work of Van de Walle, Burns, Carpenter, and Fosnot, but I needed to find a way to connect best practice with Generation “Z”.
I didn’t have a Twitter account or blog when I stumbled upon some crazy nut’s Math Video. It pushed me over the edge and was the moment my pendulum finally swung. I started doing my own thing but kept it close to my vest. Inside I was dying for feedback and searching for ways to get better but I never shared or reached out. I kept stealing from the 6-12 folk and pulling it down into the k-5 world because it worked. I have no shame in saying that I am definitely a Thief in Teacher’s Clothes.
Eventually, I fired up Twitter, started a blog, and finally hit send/post. I have grown so much in the past 2 years and realized that collaboration is the best form of professional learning. The personal growth I’ve undergone as a member of the #MTBoS could never happen in a class or webinar. What I have here, is sustainable PL that reaches far beyond the borders of my district or state. I’ve found educators that support and see math education the way I do. They live in the trenches every day. I stalk and lean on their intellectual property because it’s my CatNip. It keeps me going.
I share, I borrow, I steal (with proper attribution), and I reflect. I do it again, and again, and again, because collectively they make me a better teacher. All of us, are smarter than one of us.
I believe in grass-root movements. They promote sustainable change because they’re established out of need, not pressed down from above. I see and read about amazing things happening in classrooms everyday and become inspired. I’m continually learning and finding news way to connect with Generation “Z”.
Today my work is inspired by the likes of Weirnicki, Schwartz, and Kaplinsky. It’s become grounded in the research of Zager, Placa, and Kazemi. You might not know who these people are but you will soon enough…if you stick around.
And we hope you do!