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 a visualization a comparison a mapping a graph a prediction a puzzle
Math is a language where you can express both more and less 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 for us.
There is a lot of discussion around what the math department at my school will look like over the coming years. I rarely contribute to the discussions, sometimes out of anxiety but mostly because I am listening to what others have to say. I want to fully understand where we stand right now and how we got there before I can begin imagining where I want us to go. Here are some things that have come up when I have been thinking about this.
I want us to be a place:
Where you problem solve and model and visualize and predict
Where you learn to communicate precisely
Where you practice seeing patterns and connections
Where you use logical and organized thinking
Where you analyze and critique the world you live in, and brainstorm solutions
Where you come out in the end fundamentally believing in your ability to struggle productively
Where you lean into the unknown and the confusing with curiosity and creativity
Where you learn to ask questions far more than you find answers
Alternatively titled: I am feeling hopeful and optimistic that I have found a school and people that are a good fit for me, and I am excited to help this school and this faculty and these students grow, and to grow alongside them (:
“we will be better for your presence”
Note to self: I don’t need to change myself to be a good teacher
sitting in a circle = no one’s a satellite
the bond of picking up a conversation where you left off without any hesitation
day 1: working together creatively, playfully, cleverly
action item:get a watch?
middle school = ‘the land of the misdemeanor”
teaching = balancing “the deliberate and the organic”
lean into my natural
“What questions are students asking”
lanyard – crochet?
“removing myself as the holder of the answers”
What does it mean for student to have access to a classroom?
“we are responsible for the cultures we create”
reactive vs reflective
noticing without judgement
my teacher was mandated to report what i shared with him, and he did not.
acknowledge what we see, particularly if its not okay
rhythms and rituals
Note to self: Show up. Be open.
Note to self: I want people to know me. That means I have to show myself.