Friday, July 25, 2014

A Blogging Tutor, Please?

It has been only in rare circumstances that I have not been able to sleep in my life.  My mind is so full with new ideas and growth, that I just cannot seem to settle to rest.  I am generally a person who needs 8, maybe 7, hours of sleep each night; I get sick and cranky if I don't get that.  This week, I am struggling to stay asleep for four hours.  It's not that I'm staying up drastically later than I otherwise would, it's that I am so excited about everything and everyone, I wake up with so many thoughts running through my mind.  This is very different from when I can't sleep because I'm anxious or nervous or because I'm sick, this is my passion and joy not having time for rest.  

What will really inspire me to blog?  I participated in the first new blogger challenge after the first TMC (which I didn't attend, but watched with envy feeling like it wasn't for me).  I think I did most of those challenges, but always at the very last minute to get in under the deadline.  Last year I signed up for the Explore the Math Twitter Blog o Sphere Challenge.  I completed a handful of those assignments (and loved the prompts and ideas!).  

In the past, my resistance to writing (which I think is similar to the math resistance and phobia that we see in a lot of our students, and that I'd like to work on unpacking) has taken over and I seem to procrastinate until I have a hard deadline.  When I get up to the deadline, I write like a bat out of hell, and what I write often ends up coming out pretty decent.  I want to find a way to have internal motivation to do this.  Or maybe I just need more consistent (loving) external pressure to get my ideas out there.  I'm a rather extroverted person in general, and I LOVE to connect with people.  So, if I can think of my blogging as an extension of the conversations that I have here at #TMC14, maybe I can find my way in.

I always tell my students that they each have something valuable to contribute, and I truly believe that.  I want to model that belief by taking the risk and sharing of myself.  I want to put myself out there, even when it's uncomfortable or when I don't feel like I have time.  I do interesting things that others are interested in.  I'm part of a collaborative community and by remaining silent on my blog, I do a disservice to everyone.  I know this.  Yet, I want to blog not from a place of shame, but from this well of joy that I feel sprouting within my soul right now.

Yesterday at an informal meeting for geometry teachers, I asked for help with accountability for blogging.  I have a lot of ideas, yet when I look at a list of "things to blog about sometime," I seem to shut down and sink into feeling like a terrible person for not having written about any of them yet. I think many of our students have this same feeling when they look at what they think they "should have" learned in Algebra 1, or in fourth grade or last week.  

In addition to teaching at a rad independent school, I own a tutoring company.  I connect with students who struggle with these issues all the time, and through that coaching connection, through holding space for them to have their experience, through questioning, through love, through patience, through modeled perseverance, through affirmation, through encouragement, through tough love, through structure, through sharing my joy, through allowing space for the frustration, through full attention, many of these students come through the other side of their math phobias and anxieties.  

This is what I would like with my blogging.  I would like a blogging tutor (or collection of them) who help to hold me accountable in the same way that I lovingly hold my tutoring students accountable.  So, who wants to be on my team?


  1. What a great post! I feel the same way. I love that idea of a blogging tutor. It comes so easily to some and I often wonder how?

  2. Hi Brittany, are there certain people who come to mind? Where do you blog now?

  3. Hi Jasmine,

    I'm interested in helping out. What do you think this should look like?


  4. Hi David,
    Thank you for the offer. I'm really not sure at this point. Might you be up for having a Google Hangout sometime to chat about it?