The MEGnitude of Change

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Apr 12 2013

Passing the baton

My pre-calc class saved me yesterday, without a doubt.

My lesson wasn’t as air-tight as I had hoped it would be, but my students were awake & alive & ready to learn. They were interested (& hard-working, even?) – asking about the reasons behind the math, not just copying down formulas & getting to the work. We let the math do the talking, rather than the lesson plan, testing out theories & playing detective with problems.

If there’s one thing I love about pre-calculus, it’s this whole notion of discovery — that conceptual math is something to be explored and tested on one’s own. Patterns and formulas exist, but we begin to gain the ability to prove them, rather than simply accepting them as truth.

It had been a long time since I felt that way, that my seventh hour class made my day feel whole & complete & interesting. They are a brilliant & funny & talented bunch of kids, and I have been struggling to find ways to deliver content that a) meets all of the kids where they are and b) invests the students inherently.

I’ll be honest — I am struggling right now. I haven’t slept through the entire night in over a week, and I wake up suddenly with feelings of panic. I’m nervous about the EOI — I’m nervous that I haven’t prepared my kids well enough. I’m nervous that they don’t feel confident. Professionally and personally, I am bumping up against obstacles, and quite frankly, I think I need to stop pushing. It’s time for my kids to take the reigns & start doing some of the pushing themselves — for my sake & theirs.

Yesterday, my pre-calc kids drove our lesson. I am incredibly proud, and thanks to them, I could take a breath.

Now, let me pass the baton to my geometry kids & see what they can do.

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My journey in mathematics and beyond

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