A post about why I blog and how I am always just me.
The title of this post is a direct quote from a male student who had so much trouble spitting out that sentence I actually laughed at the end.
“What do you mean?” -me
“It’s just uhh… well… umm… last year I knew this one guy, I mean, yea a guy, who had your glasses.”
I freakin’ love kids. I did get a pair of super nerdy glasses. They are also maybe for men. eh. I think I’m rad.
Jason asked me the other day if readership mattered to me. It’s not been the first time I’ve been asked this. My old blog had a fair number of readers and this one has less than 1/5 of that.
My answer is this: I think it all comes down to purpose. I am no Kate, Sam or Dan. I will never be posting super well thought out stuff like Shawn, Riley or Jason. And I’m pretty sure my resources are just alright so many of them will never make it up here. My blog will always be about the personal side of teaching. It will always be about my class and my kids and my screw ups. That will probably not appeal to as many people as “How to approperiatly use SBG in your classroom” or “How to teach the Pythagorean Theorem using Google Maps.” So do I care that my audience shrunk? Meh. You guys actually like me. That’ll do.
Post Part 2: I am NERD.
There’s something about being a math teacher that is inherently nerdy. We like math, we are smart (most of us), we answer questions with questions. Today an 8th grade girl said this to me, “I like how you are a nerd. You like almost make it cool.” Almost being the key word here because let’s be fair: I am not actually cool. I am an uber nerd. I excel at it. I like math, comic books, fantasy novels, musicals, tv, movies, and my glasses may have previously belonged to Clark Kent. The book I am currently reading is 800 pages and the 14th in a series I’ve been reading since high school.
Here’s what I am trying to teach my kids, the reason I am “almost cool” is because I am just me. I am not trying to be anyone else. I don’t lie about what I am, what I like or what I do. I am silly when I want to be silly, I am not when I don’t want to be. I am unashamedly myself.
Thank god I am not 13 again because it was just terrible. I wish that when I was that age there was a place where I could have just been unafraid to be me. I hope for at least a couple kids I am that place. That my room is a good safe place. I am trying to make that true. I think this is really important because for a lot of my kids that safe place is certainly not hope.
Finally I’ve talked about them a lot and I love them so….
New Glasses! I know, a picture, I am way less anonymous now!!! Whatever.
(If Kate can write a whole post about her skin I can write one about my glasses 😉 )
Not Sophie Germain
8 thoughts on “Your new glasses are last year.”
I love this post. Thank you for not trying to be Kate, Sam, Dan, Shawn, Riley, Jason, or Greg. The authenticity and wonder of your voice are what make your blog so worth reading.
FWIW, it’s funny to me how my students (and heck, all of you, for that matter) accept me as one of “you” — those wonderful math “nerds” who are working hard to make math teaching and learning much more fun and rewarding. As a former (recovering?) traumatized math learner who figured out my own way (late in life) to overcome my discouragement and become good at math, I find it exciting to see the distances you are willing to cross to try and understand the discouraged learners who are the way I was in school. I wish I had had a math teacher like you who wanted me to “get” math because math is, in fact, cool.
So I’m writing as the ghost of students past, someone who is thrilled to see people like you who are naturally good at math reaching across the divide to people like me, who are not naturally good at math but who can work hard and achieve that satisfying “click” in the brain and body.
I don’t want it to be a secret any more.
Elizabeth (aka @cheesemonkeysf on Twitter)
Thanks, I am going to keep being me. I don’t have a lot of choice.
You are that kind of teacher, too! yay! i loves it.
So, I’ll admit right now that I am the mom. You may have read about me – good, bad or indifferent. I am a middle school math teacher, been doing it for about 13 years.
I think we’ll have to start a blog talking about the difference between being a 57 year old middle school math teacher and being a 24 year old middle school math teacher. I’m not cool, I relate to the kids on another level. It might be useful to someone!
Write something. I’ll post it. I love you by the way. See you tomorrow!
“I think I’m rad.”
I think you’re rad too- I’ve enjoyed reading your blog and am rooting for you to do well!
Are you reading the WoT series? I was just thinking I should reread it… If you’re not we can still be nerd friends 🙂
I am totally. i should reread it too there are a ton of details.
Where is the WoT series you guys are referring to?
Elizabeth (aka @cheesemonkeysf on Twitter)