Saturday, January 6, 2018

A Very Busy Second Semester (Gratitude)

I have so much going on right now, I feel the need to blog about it so that I can see it all in one place. So, as it is for many bloggers, this is more for me to just put it all down somewhere, organize it, and hold myself accountable!

TEDx and my new TED-Ed class

I have put in an application to host a TEDx event at my school. This is really exciting, but it is also nerve-wracking at the same time. I've decided that one of my New Year resolutions is to give students a voice. I read recently that one of your New Year resolutions shouldn't be about you. I like that, and so I spent a few days during winter break really thinking about how I can commit to that. I planned my TED-Ed class for two weeks, curating TED talks to watch, assigning small assignments, explaining the purpose of the class, etc. I'm getting excited. The irony is that I am a math teacher who at one time was so paralyzed by public speaking that I can't believe I am the one to teach students how to give a TED talk!! But I see it as an opportunity to give students a way to spread an idea that is unique to them and that makes their hearts beat faster. I'm pumped. I'm nervous, but it's a good nervous. And after 27 years of teaching, it's exciting to have something new to do!

I have been preparing by using the amazing modules provided by TED-Ed clubs (click the link to find out how to get the valuable resources) and by reading Chris Anderson's TED Talks book. He's the curator of TED. I met him in person at TED-Ed Weekend, which is enough to inspire me to help my students do incredible things. Stay tuned!! The video below explains TED-Ed clubs. Watch below!

A Math Fair

I wish I could remember how I figured out about the Julia Robinson Math Festival. Each year, I've charged my Mu Alpha Theta vice-presidents to come up with a school-wide community service project, and this is the first year that I have students who followed through! The goal is to have a math fair, grades JK - 8, for students and their parents, with our club members facilitating. I've listed some info below. The goal is to have our 85+ club members work with younger students to inspire them to enjoy mathematics. I hope that this will be a yearly festival! 

Speaking at NCTM

Again, never would I have thought that I could do public speaking. A sudden calm came over me in the last few years. I seriously used to get so nervous when I found out that I had to speak (not in the classroom, of course!), that I would be sick to my stomach for weeks, obsessing about what could go wrong. However, in the last year or so, this feeling has dissipated. I don't know why. But I'm not going to question it. I spoke publicly twice last year, once in front of a a group of alum and once in front of maybe a hundred and fifty people, telling my story about my love of my school and my job. It was extremely rewarding, which is another reason why I want to help students share their unique stories.

I applied to speak at NCTM Annual in Washington DC last year and was happy to hear that I was selected to speak about my TED-Ed project Students Teaching Students. I have yet to plan this talk, but hey, that's what spring break will be for!! This is another first that I'm excited about, but it feels stressful not having it ready yet. 


There are a lot of MAO competitions coming up as this is our season. We have three regionals: January 20, February 3, and March 3, along with States. This year, we are hoping to take students to Universal Studios the night before states (by student request), and all of this takes so much time to organize. It's very enjoyable, and for January 20th, we have over 70 students signed up to go! This also means giving up 3 Saturdays and one weekend as a chaperone, but it is totally worth it. 


There is one thing that really helps ground me other than working out, and that is attending things that help me spiritually. Here are some of the things I am going to/going to do this year:
I'm also reading this book.

I also listen to Rachel Brathen's podcast "From the Heart" weekly. 
And I try to do something with at least one girlfriend a week - this is so necessary for my soul. 

After writing all of this down, I do feel better. I can see what's ahead. I know I have a lot to accomplish, but it's all doable. And I'm grateful for my family for supporting me through it and for this venue to share it. I am thankful for my health, my home, my friends, my job, and my students. I am thankful I can write this, and that my body is able to do the things I ask it to do each day: wake up, take me where I need to go, work out, and know when to relax (working on that last one!).

I'll leave you with this Glennon Doyle post from Instagram, in which my two worlds of math and spiritually collide: 

1 comment:

Sara said...


I love online yoga and havn't tried oneoeight yet. Only Lizette Pompa's classes at they have first two weeks free. :)

Good luck with your TT :)