Here goes nothing.
My time at TMC '17 (Twitter Math Camp) was inspiring. As a self-proclaimed "PD Junkie" I've been to many conferences and workshops that have been engaging, informative, and have challenged me to learn more. However, I never felt more welcome as a newcomer to a community as I did at TMC. On Wednesday morning I nervously sat down next to a stranger who turned out to be Lisa Henry - THE Lisa Henry - and she happily chatted with me about my teaching background and current school, as if she had no other pressing matters to attend to. It was clear that many people were repeat attendees and had relationships with one another, but they were also happy to open their circle and invite me in. I sat next to strangers and chatted over doughnuts and Willy's Mexican food, and rode to a pizza lunch with 3 people I'd never met. I couldn't help but think of those new students who will be joining our middle school next week and how it can feel to be the new kid.
Having a background as an elementary teacher now moving to middle school, part of me has always felt like a bit of an imposter in these settings - I don't have a math major, I took calculus once but don't really remember it and didn't enjoy it back then. As much as I teach and try to practice a growth mindset, being in a room full of cream of the crop high school and university math teachers has in the past felt intimidating. Thanks to TMC, and especially Carl Oliver's (@carloliwitter) keynote, I felt encouraged to share my journey with the wider MTBoS community. Carl's words made such an impression that this introvert, deathly afraid of public speaking to audiences over age 14, volunteered to present my "Superheroes" project as part of the My Favorites talks on Sunday morning. The TMC community was so incredibly supportive, that now I am here! Blogging about my teaching: sharing questions, experiments, mistakes, and surprises.
If you've made it this far - thank you! I have no idea what to expect from or promise about this blog, but I'm taking a risk and contributing more to the MTBoS because I am (and, turns out, have always been) whatever enough.