I chatted with two coworkers this morning and felt really encouraged.
I also had a performance review meeting with two administrators today and that was encouraging as well.
The highlight of my day was a student yelling, “I get this! YES, I UNDERSTAND MATH!”
I also had the beginnings of an interesting discussion about the purpose of math with another class. They asked the usual “when will we ever learn this” and I gave my standard response of “Possibly never. If you are only concerned about utility then you are not seeing the full picture. Why do we study poetry? Why do we study music?” A student had a great response to this, which was “To express ourselves but I don’t see how we can express ourselves in math, we just have to do exactly what the problem asks.” And I completely agree with her. I feel a little trapped in my curriculum (although I also think it doesn’t hurt to learn math where you don’t express yourself) but I want to find ways to both teach the mandated material AND allow students to see the beauty and self-expression that comes from my more rigid art form.
I don’t know how to do that well yet.
But I’m working on it.
Thanks for reading.