Saturday, November 16, 2013

Saturday Sayings: Celebrate



Over the past four years this math teacher has been put through the wringer, in the best possible way.  My State started pushing me toward better math practices before I even knew there was such a thing as the CCSS.  Needless to say, I've been through a lot of math professional development.  Just when I think I kind of have an idea of what's expected of my mathematicians, I find myself yet again awakened by the depth of mathematical practice my kids need before they can accomplish what's expected of them in the next grade, not to mention throughout the rest of their schooling career.  It has the potential to feel quite daunting, but I don't think it has to be that way.  

Yesterday I finished up another math workshop and was asked to reflect on what other teachers new to the process might need to know.  In a room full of mostly strangers, I wasn't bold enough to raise my hand, but I really wanted to.  I wanted to be the person in the room who said, "Let's resist the urge to be overwhelmed.  We can't ignore the fact that we're in the midst of a big learning curve for teachers and kids alike, but look how far we've come already.  Despite the fact that I still have a lot to learn, each year my mathematicians are so far better off than the ones I taught the year before.  They're more flexible, courageous, persistent, and verbal mathematicians who have a better understanding of what they're doing.  Sure, it seems like every time I sit down to learn more about being a better math teacher, I discover a deeper level of understanding my kids are lacking, but I have faith that I'm going to get there.  Honestly, it might not happen this year, because this kind of lasting change isn't immediate, but I'm encouraged.  I'm going in the right direction.  Let's celebrate how far we've come and all the things that our mathematicians are doing along the way that we never thought possible before.  Amen."  Yep, that's what I wanted to say.  


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17 comments:

  1. Yay for celebrating how far we have come as teachers and for our students. For pushing forward out of our comfort zone to learn and stretch more because we know it will benefit our students. You model it and verbalize it so well! Thank you!
    Lori
    Conversations in Literacy

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    1. Lori, thank you. We do need to celebrate!

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  2. I like that nugget ... resist the urge to be overwhelmed! Will chew on that for a while ... my favorite part of a Saturday morning is stopping by to see what you're saying!! Thank you.

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    1. Barbara, I'm so honored that you enjoy stopping by on your Saturday mornings. I love that.

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  4. Every time I read your blog I am inspired. Your commitment to constantly improve is so inspiring but sometimes it's also a little overwhelming. Thanks for reminding me not to be overwhelmed by all I could do better but to instead celebrate the steps towards improvement.
    Lyn

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    1. Lyn, it's easy to get overwhelmed. I want to celebrate too though. Thank you for reading. You too inspire me.

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  5. I am also resisting the urge to be overwhelmed! I struggled with math as a child...I'm not sure I would have if I'd been in your room! Thanks for more inspiration!
    Jenny

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    1. Jenny, I'm sure I'd be a better mathematician if I could take math all over again. :)

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  6. Oh Tammy! I'm really liking where you said you are better than you were last year, and consequently your math kids are also! Me, too! Me, too!!
    Sara

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    1. Sara, It's important to realize that, huh?!

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  7. You are so brave! To try new things, but to also speak out and say that it may look different in the future. This is what we have to say as we journey to a new place. Great post!
    Literacy Minute

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    1. Sandra, I've never thought of myself as brave but thank you.

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  8. Oh, I needed to hear this, Tammy. 'Cause I'm one of those people who wants the change to be right now, this very minute, and it better be perfect! Haha. I wish I had your patience with this kind of stuff. Thanks for the great reminder not to be overwhelmed and to remember that change takes time.

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    1. Barb, I just know that I've accepted the fact that I'm not great at making change successfully happen without lots of tries. :)

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  9. If we only knew then what we know now. Think of how great you will be in 5 years. Time goes fast and as long as we keep on learning, we keep on making progress.

    Tara
    The Math Maniac

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    1. Tara, I can only hope that I'll be much better at this in 5 years. :)

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