Fellow Educations! I have a huge favor to ask of you. As I begin to develop and curate my blog, the biggest question and challenge that I am facing is, will my content be relevant to my audience? To answer that question I first had to know who my audience was and what they want to know more about. Originally I had defined my target audience as K-12 math teachers, and teachers looking to amp up their tech skills in the classroom, as these are my areas of expertise. Since technology can be applied to any grade level and content, I have more broadly define my audience as K-12 educators.
Target Audience (Who is my blog for?)
If you are a K-12 educator then I am speaking directly to you. I really need your help! I already have several ideas for some blog posts of new content for how you can amp up your classroom and instruction, but I want to make sure that all of my content is relevant, useable, and easily implementable. Oh, and did I mention that it will all be completely FREE! I wanted to get that out of the way right now, my blog and resources will always be FREE!
Content (What will I be talking about?)
I have been a mathematics teacher for over 17 years. That is what I am passionate about and that is where my expertise lies. Therefore, most of this blog will be dedicated to mathematics content, amping up your math instruction, and reforming mathematics education.
I am also a techie and love using technology in my classroom. Technology is a great tool, but it should serve a purpose. That purpose should not be simply to use technology. When using technology you should have a clear goal that connects to student learning and outcomes. My blog will be dedicated to sharing my tech tips and ways to enhance student learning and engagement through the use and implementation of the latest and greatest tech tools. For all you oldies fans, don’t worry, I know there are some great tools that have been around for a while and my playlist includes those as well.
Our society as a whole has always had a problem with how we accept mathematics culturally. When most people ask me what I do, their responses are usually all pretty similar, and I’m sure you’ve heard these too if you are a math teacher. “Math was always my worst subject!”, “I’ve never been good at math!”, “I don’t know how you do it!”, “I’ve never understood why we need Algebra(Math)!”, “You must be pretty smart!”, and “God bless you!”, just to name a few. That last one was the general response when I told people that I was a Middle School math teacher! Many of us have a fixed mindset when it comes to mathematics learning! We believe there are math-people and non-math people, and we have come to accept that as a society.
Fixed mindset messages that we send students come in many different forms. Teachers send that message to their students when they tell students things like “This topic is pretty difficult, but I’m going to give you a trick to make it easy!”, and “Math isn’t my favorite, so we are going to save that for later.” Parents send this message to their children when they say things things like “I don’t know how to do math, I can’t help you!”, “I’ve never used/needed Algebra (math) as an adult, and I’m successful!”, or “I can’t help you with your homework, the math is so different/new and I don’t want to teach you the wrong way!” Even society humorizes (I know that’s not a word) being bad at math in sitcoms, TV shows, and movies. We have engrained in ourselves that failure (in math) is a reflection of what our potential is. Failure is not a reflection of our potential, failure is a refection of our effort and current lived experiences. We may not know how to do something yet, but if we keep trying, adapt and modify our approaches, and are resilient, we can get there. When addressing this issue with my students, I always compare mathematics to sports. Take basketball for example. A player needs to practice hundreds, if not thousands of free-throw shots in order for that skill to be automatic. In our society we have glorified sports and have come to know and enforce the the concept that practice makes permanent, and that is accepted and reinforced in the relam of sports. With the exception of a rare few, most players have to put in the time and practice to be good and stay good. When a player fails to make a free-throw, they keep trying and keep practicing, making small changes along the way to make improvements. Take this quote from Michael Jordan about his failures:
“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”– Michael Jordan
Purpose (Why am I doing this work?)
Why should mathematics be any different! Failure is why we succeed….if we continue to be resilient! Failure does not mean we don’t have the potential to be successful in math, failure means we don’t know how to do it yet, but we can if we are resilient and keep trying. We need to instill this concept in our students and help them move from a fixed mindset in mathematics, toward a growth mindset. This work is so important. It is not an easy task by any means, and it is definitely a huge undertaking, especially given the way that we have approached math as a society for generations. It is going to take a holistic approach and societal shift to make impactful change, but I know we can get there. That is why I am also dedicating my blog to discussing growth mindset and providing teachers with resources to instill growth mindset in their students. Mathematics education in our society is ready for change, it’s in NEED of change! It’s going to take a revolution, and this site is my contribution to that revolution.
In Conclusion (What are the next steps?)
To recap, the three areas that my blog will focus on are: math education, edtech, and growth mindset. I am committed to sharing my expertise and successes in the field and to provide free resources for teachers to help improve their instructional practices in these key areas. I also know that I am not an expert, by any means in many other areas, and as an educator I have room for growth and improvement. It is these areas that I am committed to learning more about and growing professionally so that I can improve my instructional practices and best meet my students needs. As a result, I plan to share my own research of best practices and instructional strategies, and ask for your feedback. I would also like to know what topics you need more growth in? So here is my call to action!
I’m asking that you please take a few moments out of your day to complete the form below. I want to know your topics of interest and the areas in which you would like to improve your instructional practices. This won’t take long and it would mean the world to me! Please click the button below to access the form .
If you would like to stay connected and get notified when I have new resources available you can also sign up for my mailing list. To sign up for my mailing list click the button below.
I hope you have enjoyed reading this post and are more inspired to start improving your instructional practices to better meet your student’s needs. I can’t wait to begin this journey with you!
– Inspiring students and teachers to reach their highest potential –