I am a lurker. Almost three years ago, I fell into the world of math teacher bloggers. A previous co-worker sent me a link to a friend's blog (I wish I could remember who that gateway blogger was). I was mesmerized by his ideas and then I saw his list of favorite blogs, and figured, "if he has great ideas he probably reads interesting people." So, I started a literature crawl of sorts and stayed up until 3am exploring the great world of passionate, innovative, creative math teachers all over the globe. I had done more professional development in that six hours than in the last two years combined. My friends laugh lovingly when I tell them that I read math teacher blogs to rejuvenate in the evening, and I'm looking forward to telling them that I'm not only reading them, but that I have one of my own.
Ten years ago I studied aboard in England and in order to keep up with my family and friends in the US, I kept a LiveJournal, basically a primitive blog. I loved to keep lists of things that I would write about in the computer lab...long lists of stories and moments that I wanted to make sure that I captured to share with my loved ones. Although I have always loved to keep a personal journal, something about the accountability of the public record helped me to experience my life in a richer fashion...making notes to flesh out later. As life has become more busy and I have had more people to process my thoughts with, the written record of my experience has been missing.
I took this summer off from direct service with students for the first time since I was 14, and part of that was that I also took a break from reading blogs. Last week as I was working on fueling my fledgling excitement for the beginning of the school year, I remembered that blogs would be a great way to get back into the groove. When I'm just going to read one or two blogs, Sam Shah is on my A1 list, so up came this blogging challenge. For three years I have been lurking and peering in, snatching some great ideas and using this community to help me up when I was feeling down on teaching. Bowman in Arabia helped me to take that last step to dive into SBG last year. [I plan to dedicate a whole post to how I use it in my classroom on this blog soon.] I feel so grateful to all of these people who I have never met. And although I'm not sure what I'll write about or if it will feel useful to others, it will allow me to process my experience with more intentionality and give me a space to keep a written record of my ideas and thoughts.
Thank you for joining me on this journey of coming out of the lurking closet and becoming incredible math teachers!