I might not be the big thinker.

I had a really lovely conversation with Tiffany about mathematics education as a whole.  What we are teaching, why we are teaching it, and Rochelle Gutierrez.  It made me think, as talking with Tiffany always does.

Here’s where I’m at:  I love math.  I love teaching kids math but mathematics education is not my passion.  I don’t have a deep drive to examine math.  I don’t have a grand desire to delve into why we teach the math we do in the way we do.  Do I think it’s important?  Heck yes. Is it my life’s work? Nope.

I think, and I reserve the right to change my mind, that my life’s work is kids.  Possibly at an individual level, certainly on a relational level.  Don’t get me wrong I am in no way implying that thinking about math education on a large scale is not beneficial to kids or hugely important.  I am so glad there are people who want to do that work.  I am even more glad that there are people like Bryan Meyer and Tiffany who are willing to talk to me about it because I trust both of them to make me think about things that are important. But for me it’s different.  I don’t want to say I don’t care because that’s untrue but it doesn’t excite me.

For me it’s success for the kids I have now in the system I am in. For me it’s each scholar I have a relationship with.  For me it’s helping my school build in systems of support for LGBTQ students and students of color. For me it’s smaller? Maybe I’m a small system thinker?  Maybe I’m not as progressive as Lawler would like me to be but I am doing the work I love, in a place where that work matters, with people who make me better, and kids that know they are important to me.

So, I think I’ll keep thinking small for a while.  Focus on my interests and learn more about them because I think that might have been Tiffany’s point all along.

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3 thoughts on “I might not be the big thinker.

  1. Of course you’re a big thinker – are you kidding me!?!? You make me question myself all the time! Thank you for that! And thank you for the wonderful respectful relationship we have where we can argue and still adore each other!!!! Xoxoxo

  2. I don’t like how you set this up. It seems like math is the small thing, kids relate to their mathematical selves a few times a day, art their own will. Kids are relating with relationships every instant of every day. Relationships are the fabric out of which civilization is sewn. You’re saying that helping kids grapple with not just their relationship with you, or each other in math class, but also in how they relate to this civilization as a person of computer or an LGBTQ youth. Those are the big issues. Sometimes if you look around and it feels like everyone else is on another path, it might feel like something is wrong, but really you may just be blazing the trail where others were not ready to travel. Keep thinking big!

  3. I think you are taking on the most important work, positive relationships with kids, supporting them in their emerging, positive identity. You are the progressive I’d like to become

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