3,141 days ago I sent a super long email to Dan Meyer about my experiences with assessment in the classroom. A couple days later he said this was great, start a blog and make that your first post. A couple weeks later Infinite Sums was born. Today the project comes to a close.
The timing is coincidental. This has been a decision brewing for months. Often during breaks I take stock of currently open projects and decide whether or not they should continue. I’m not afraid to throw something out if I don’t like it anymore. Earlier this summer I took my archives offline because I no longer like most of the ideas in there. I was fielding questions for lesson ideas or classroom practices I’d abandoned years ago. The online community has changed as well. It happens, change is healthy.
In the last year my attention has drifted to more local matters. In those 3,141 days I’ve stayed at the same school (a modern miracle) and have acquired a lot more responsibilities. My mental energy isn’t really spent on teaching anymore. Don’t take that to mean I no longer care. If anything I care more than ever, pulling off the daily classroom rountine just doesn’t require what it used to. In fact, a lot of the intense effort I put in because of blogging is the reason I find it so easy. I worked super hard on teaching back then so that I don’t have to now. I am delivering a better product than I did 10 years ago and I’m forever indebted to the kids and other educators that helped with that work.
Since 2015 my focus has become more on the people I teach and not so much what I teach. It’s really important that kids view my classroom as a comfortable place where we’re just hanging out while math happens. I’m also a part of several on campus organizations and invest a lot of time and energy getting kids excited about their time in those organizations. It’s hard to put where I work into context, an easy place to start would be watching my IGNITE from CAMT earlier this summer. A number of private projects have started in that time as well, stuff that I can’t blog about. One in particular consumes a lot of my time and is very dear to me.
I’m thankful for what blogging helped me accomplish as an educator. Year 2 me needed a place to figure out ideas and build confidence to make sure this scary career change wasn’t pointless. Many awards and speaking engagements later, it’s more exciting for me to teach the sibling/cousin/nephew/niece of a kid who came before, to shake the hand of a former student who just graduated college, or to welcome them as a new district employee. Soon enough it’ll be their kids walking in my door. There are so many wonderful families in my community, I am humbled to have served and to continue to serve.