Teacher Crush in 3 Acts

Awhile back I discovered the 3 Act Math tasks. If you haven't checked them out, you should...even if you aren't a math teacher. They are really cool and a fun way to get kids interested in excited about math. Last weekend I went to the Northwest Math Conference. Although I realize that being at the conference doesn't bring you all to the same level of excitement as me, it really was amazing! I mean, really, how often do you get to see a teacher crush, meet a few more, see some friends, and, most of all, see some really great speakers!

Dan Meyer is an incredible speaker and the creator of the 3 Act Math tasks. AS a young teacher, he realized that the way he was teaching math wasn't reaching his students, so he created something else...something that he thought would be better, something that would reach his students, get their creative juices flowing.

Sometimes, I'm sure in every career, you get to meet your idol...this was one of those times. At a young age, he was able to not only capture his students attention, but the nations math teachers as well.

The NW Math Conference was an opportunity to meet so many movers and shakers in the math world...people that are seeking to move things forward in the math world, make math more reachable for students.

I think about my experiences as a math teacher...the years I have put into this career...the changes I have made in my practice. I look back when I began and, although I felt that I was a flexible, I realize that my beliefs about students and their learning was a bit rigid. I worked in a penal system of education where students had to prove themselves in a way that now seems a bit unfair. The idea that things were learned to proficiency was assumed but not really taught. Testing was on percentages and reteaching didn't really happen.

Now I am looking at the world from another view...I want my students to really understand the math...sometimes to the point that I am "being mean" (as they put it!). I am evolving and continue to evolve every year.

I'd like to think that someday I will refine my practice, but I worry that once I have reached that point it might be time to retire...

Until then...I continue to have teacher crushes, continue to refine my practice and continue teaching...it's almost my own personal 3 Act task...one act at a time!


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