I made my self wake up early this morning even though there wasn’t a talk I wanted to see so that I would write something. If you know me at all you know that is quite the feat. I am, first off, not a morning person and second I suck at adjusting to time change. So right now I am on the east coast where it is 8 am but my brain/ head feels much closer to 5 am. Either way I am currently fairly grumpy.
Anyway, why am I on the east coast? I’m at a conference! It’s awesome! yay! (attempting perky) Here are the reasons it is so good:
- We go to 2 2-hour classes a day. This is the only time I’ve ever been to is the type of conference. I really appreciate the time spent really mastering the topics. One of mine is on the TI-nspire (I didn’t really know that when I signed up) and the other is an intro to geogebra which I am loving.
- The classes max out at about 13 people, one of my classes has 6 people. We all know and talk about the benefits of small class sizes. Guess what? Adults like it, too. Being in a class of 6 holds you very very responsible for you behaviors and attention. We also cover material very quickly because everyone’s misconceptions are fixed immediately. I bet we could all cover the year’s material in a class size of 6.
- The speakers are uber engaging. Well to be fair there have only been two but I have been impressed by both of them. I am not an easy person to lecture to. I am easily distracted and it is not my favorite mode of learning. So far we have had two evening speakers and both of them have been very engaging. One spoke on math and music and while he was speaking he played the violin.
- I am impressed over all by the quality of the event. Thing run smoothly people seem happy. The presenters are as well prepared as the speakers. There are always things happening. I just can’t help but like it.
I am considering this a solid introduction to the northeast. I am meeting a lot of people including teachers from my school and teachers from other schools in the area.
Things I am noticing:
There are teachers who really love the math and love teaching kids and then there are teachers who really love the kids and then love teaching math. I don’t think there is a right way but I do think there is a difference. I also think in the private school world there seem to be more teachers who seemingly fell in to teaching. As in it wasn’t exactly the plan but this is where they ended up. Now, if they are here at this conference they are obvisously dedicated teachers, don’t get me wrong. This is just something I have never experienced before.
I have been thinking about how watching my mother become a teacher had a profound effect on my life. She wasn’t always a teacher. She says she always wanted to be one but when she finished college there were too many teachers (sound familiar?) and she got her masters instead. When I was 12 she went back to school and got her teaching credential. I don’t really have memories of her in the program but I do remember her first few years teaching. I remember her intentionalness (i know, not a word) in every decision and how much thought went in to the students in her class. I remember the stories she told every day when she came home. I remember that even with a husband and two kids teaching seemed to really bring a sense of fulfillment to her life.
I guess I don’t understand how anyone could become a teacher in a less then fully intentional way but I think those people that fell in to it are very very lucky because I am reminded this week, as always, how this is the best job.