So, the name of this blog is “MathCoachBlog”. I picked the blog name about a year-and-a-half ago, as I was working in my district’s curriculum office, and hoped to use this forum to share ideas, resources and experiences. I treasure the opportunities I have had to share with others, the kind feedback people have given me about many of the activities, and the many friends I have made through this blog and twitter.
But here’s the thing: I’m not an academic coach anymore. After 2 years working with some great people in my office, I have chosen to go back to the classroom. This was purely my decision, and I am looking forward to implementing many of the ideas and resources I have been encountered in the last 2 years. I’m thinking of it as a mid-career re-set, and in some ways I am more energized to teach classes than I ever was before.
But the blog….keep the name? Change the name? Keep it? Change it? We’ll get back to that….
This week, I had to set-up a new classroom for the first time in a long time. I was in the same room for 13 years before, and had to pack a lot of stuff when I moved into an office. So, time to dust off the cobwebs, think about what’s important, and do some moving-in. Here are some elements I like to have in my classroom. What are some neat things you like to have to create a positive classroom culture?
I like to tell a lot of stories in my class, think about anecdtoes from previous years, and keep in contact with as many former students as I can. For AP Statistics, the “Wall of 5’s” has always been a topic of conversation, and a goal for many students who strive to eventually be “immortalized”. It’s a nice hook the AP classes. Thanks to my colleague Joel, who kept the wall alive the past 2 years, and has now made a duplicate wall for his classroom.
Along the same lines, I like to have lots of pictures from previous years around. Many of these are from our annual Stats Fair, and are great conversation starters.
The Wall of Badges: more chances to talk about my experiences as a Siemens STEM Fellow, an AP reader, and conference junkie.
Cool art. Escher works always generate buzz. Now with 100% more Legoes!
T-shirts from math contests our math club has attended provide just the right amount of geek-pride.
And finally, the oragami art a graduate made for me is the best gift ever, and gets it own spot in the room. Special appearance by John McClain – a “Secret Santa” gift.
So, about the name of the blog… Since I announced my return to the classroom, I have had lots of conversations with colleagues in my department, and know I am blessed to work with many fantastic people. Sometimes we don’t agree on things, and that’s healthy. And I’m thrilled to be able to implement so many of the great new things I have learned, and continue to share them out to you. So, I’m no longer a coach in my district, but I think that, in many ways, I way wind up being a more effective coach to my friends online through the sharing of classroom ideas. So, MATHCOACHBLOG LIVES ON!
Also, it’s sort of a pain to change the name,….so there ‘s that.