Before I blog about the awesomeness that is #TMC16, I want to share about something that came to light about my personal growth because I attended TMC16 this year.
I miss this community of amazing teachers.
I miss connecting with this community about math and math teaching.
I miss sharing ideas, getting useful feedback and growing as a teacher.
I miss blogging and tweeting.
I miss connecting with teachers in real life about math. In my role, I don’t teach a regular math class, so I don’t talk math teaching with anyone the same way I as used to. I miss that immensely.
I miss teaching.
Why does my brain not allow me to see the value in the job that I am currently doing? I have been successful in my role over the last two years, students have improved, growth has been seen, gains have been made. But I don’t feel the same way about it as I felt about the first 14 years of my teaching career. Going from a regular math teacher with a team to a math specialist that works with other teacher’s students is a huge change.
In my role, I have allowed my voice to die down in my school and online because so much I know about what it meant to me to be a teacher is different. I am not any less of a teacher, but it looks and feels different to me and I haven’t figured out what it means to me. And I haven’t found how I fit in to my school environment or online environment. Two years and I still don’t know how I can bring value to my position and value to others through my position.
And this really came to light while being at TMC16 and being around all these amazing, inspirational teachers who are here because they are pushing themselves to better, to get outside of their comfort zone and to connect with others. I personally NEED this community because it was inspirational to changing my teaching over the years and I NEED to be more reflective so I can get feedback.
You can only get feedback if you put yourself out there. You can only get better by asking questions and challenging yourself. I took the easy road the last two years because I didn’t know my role, but I plan to become more involved again because I think that will help me find my role in my job and as a teacher so I can feel better about my contributions to this amazing community. I need to do what I need so I can improve.