Title: Public High School Mathematics Teacher
Current Courses (2014-2015): Fundamentals of Algebra 1 (co-taught) and Honors Pre-Calculus
Past Courses: Pretty much everything high school (Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2, Pre-Caclulus/Calculus combo, AP Calculus) with lots of special ed mixed in.
I student taught in Holyoke, MA, spent 3 years in Lawrence, MA and am in my fifth year in Salem, MA. If you know anything about Massachusetts then you've figured out that I like teaching in urban, high needs districts.
My current project is Nix the Tricks. Do you cringe when a student's reaction to every problem involving fractions is "cross multiply!"? It doesn't matter whether you teach elementary or high school, whether you're a parent or a tutor, having a student yell out a trick without stopping to think is painful. The book is filled with alternatives to the shortcuts so prevalent in mathematics education and explains exactly why the tricks are so bad for understanding math. Head over to the site to see our suggested alternatives and share your own.
This summer was my 8th year in a row spending my summer break at math camp (total dork and proud of it). I've been to PROMYS (Boston University) and PCMI (Institute of Advanced Studies) and would highly recommend both summer programs. Of course, TMC (Twitter Math Camp) was amazing and worth saving/scheduling for starting right now! If you'd rather listen to me talk about summer programs than read the webpages check out the Infinite Tangents Podcast, Episode 103.
My favorite form of professional development is twitter (@crstn85) and reading blogs. The #matheme page is a great place to see what big ideas we've been talking about - if you've written about one of the themes or notice your favorite post by another blogger is missing, please let me know! At last count I followed 131 math teacher blogs. If anyone knows how to share a Digg Reader category let me know, although you'd have to be a bit insane to want to comb through that list!
The Day in the Life project started as a #matheme but turned bigger. I would love to see it expand even further and am always looking for ways to share it with the general public. If you run into anyone talking about how easy teachers' jobs are, would you do us all a favor and send them to the website? Podcast episode on this too: Episode 106.
Since being a teacher is a challenging job, we need both One Good Thing and Productive Struggle. One Good Thing is a place for us to share our favorite moments from each day, the reasons we teach and the small celebrations of our and our students accomplishments. Teaching is exhausting and burnout happens all too often, the One Good Thing blog reminds us why it's worth the effort. On the other hand, we all struggle. We have lessons that flop despite careful planning, and that's normal! Instead of hiding our difficulties, we should share them and ask the community for help. Productive Struggle is a place to get advice and put all of our expertise together to turn failures into successes. (Also discussed in podcast Episode 103.)