Have you heard that quote about math teachers and chocolate milk?
"Talking to other math teachers is like chocolate milk. Comforting, perfect, and we enjoy it thoroughly. Talking to other teachers is like milk. Plain, but filling. Talking to non-teachers is like having no cow at all."
I read that one day, somewhere on the world wide web, and did it resonate with me. I had been so frustrated in talking to friends about teaching, none of them seemed to know what I was talking about!
In my just-over-three years experience in teaching math, I've found that talking to people about teaching has been one of the best ways for me to improve. Math teachers, generally, stand out as people to have a good conversation with, because there is just something different about teaching math and teaching social studies.
I discovered "Math Teacher Blogs" about a year and half ago, and what excitement it brought me! Here were people who talking about their teaching every day, people who were good at it. I could take their ideas, I could commiserate with them when things didn't go well, I could laugh at the funny things that happened in their classrooms.
I liked reading these blogs because it made me take some time and seriously think about what I was doing, and how I could do it better.
I also liked it because it was like sitting on the sidelines, listening to a conversation amongst brilliant individuals. And it really was a conversation. I soon figured out that all of these bloggers knew each other, at least in the blog world. I ventured a comment now and then, but I never really became a part of the community.
And then, all of a sudden, here I am, joining the ranks. I have my own thoughts about my own classroom that I want to share. I don't know if I'll ever get to know "the group," or if any other math teacher will even read my blog, but I'm convinced now that if I want to continue growing, I need to start talking about my teaching, instead of just listening to what others think about their teaching.
We'll have to see how this goes. To be honest, any time an adult walks into my room to observe, I instantly have the thought that I must be doing it all wrong, and I don't deserve to be a teacher. I don't like talking about my teaching practice, because I don't feel confident in my teaching ability.
But that is the point of this blog. I am a good teacher, several people have told me so, and I am writing this blog to prove it. To myself. Here goes.