(Alternatively titled: A teaching philospohy)
In trying to understand who I am as a teacher
I found a misconception I had been holding on to:
I thought the pull to teaching was math.
(And I do love math
I am grateful to have it as a partner in this endeavor
I love its definitiveness and ambiguity
Give me good pattern any day of the week and I’ll be happy
Or an algorithm
Math is a language where you can express
than you can with words.
Math carries a precision that syllables and sentences never can
Yet fails to articulate the finest points of humanness)
But to say I am tied to teaching because I love math
is a knot that will unravel under tension.
I would not have ended up here if I had not accompanied a bouquet of trans folks
On legs of their expeditions:
Through crushing expectations
Through meeting themselves
Through glimmers of expansive freedom
Through letting the world in to meet them.
I teach in order to hold a place for these gender explorers and defiers
For these norm breakers
For these students looking for someone to see them, to know them.
I stumbled into teaching with my crochet hook and calculator
with enormous and hazy and overwhelming dreams
To chip away at these walls against which my back is pressed
To exist where they said we couldn’t
To make space