About the author: MaryAnn Moore (@1mooreorless) is the editor and lead writer of the UCTM blog. She teaches 8th and 9th grade math in Davis School District. When not teaching, MaryAnn enjoys playing violin, running, cooking and traveling. You can contact her at email@example.com.
"No significant learning occurs without a significant relationship." (James Comer)
Recently @MathButler created a directory of the MTBoS. Here is what the map of online math educators looks like right now:
When I talk to math teachers in Utah, it seems to me that morale has reached a dangerous low. Many of us work in environments where we do not feel valued by our community or supervisors. With recent changes to the state mathematics standards (which I fully support and endorse!), I find that I am in the position of constantly defending my work to nearly everyone I talk to. It is as though the pail in which I keep my teaching energy has developed a leak. I do not yet know how to mend the holes that are causing the leak, but I do know that if I am not active in finding ways to refill and replenish, I will run dry and have nothing left to offer my students.
Build the Community You Need
That solitary number one in Utah on the map was the primary reason I contacted UCTM about creating this blog. I wanted more of the community I felt at TMC back home in Utah. I don't know how effective I have been so far at creating this community, but I do know that I'm not alone any more.
So our online community of math teachers here in Utah is growing. Slowly. And I'm ok with that. I recently listened to a TED Talk by Zeynep Tufekci entitled Online social change: easy to organize, hard to win.
Join the Community!
I know that there are more than two of us in Utah who are dedicated to improving the craft of mathematics education. Please join us. We want to get to know you. We want to learn from you! Add yourself to the MTBoS directory. Join our #eduread book club (we're starting to discuss What's Math Got to Do With It next week, and both Lori and I are excited to participate in the discussions). If you're nervous about using Twitter or blogs or don't know how to get started, look here for some how-to's. Or just send me an email and I'll come meet with you and help you get started. Or we can just meet for ice-cream sometime and share stories. I believe there is power in sharing our stories with each other. If you would like to share some of your stories here on this blog, fill out this form and we'll make it happen. I tell my students that every voice in my classroom is important and that it's important to create a community where everyone feels comfortable sharing their ideas. It's time start realizing that what is good for students is good for teachers too. Let's put it into action!