Thursday, July 21, 2016
My brain is still flying three days after leaving TMC16 in Minneapolis. For 3 years, I have followed this group of "renegade" math educators. I annually kept up with the conference posts and wikki - always so impressed with the content and supportive atmosphere that was evident. I was finally able to attend this year and am so proud and excited that I did!
One of the first things I heard at the Desmos PreConference (#Descon) this year was "there are no rock stars here". I beg to differ. Every person I follow is a rock star of math education! The MTBoS community has become a model for a math community of learning. It was OK to take a risk and make new friends, exchange ideas, learn mathematics and pedagogy. Glenn Waddell, you are a rock star for your impactful presentation on moving past our fear...and what we might be able to accomplish together...Thank you Sara VanDerWerf you are a rock star for introducing me to Math Education Evangelism!
My mornings started with a 3 day session on Routines with David Wees. What a brilliant man and thoughtful practitioner. So inspiring to hear Jose Vilson and Tracy Zager as keynote speakers...I hope that their messages push us to engage, become connected, and bring down barriers to communication. The location of these addresses was an important statement as well. The Augsburg College Chapel was a beautiful venue. We were in a place of worship and the messages were to be taken seriously... Jose spoke about relationships and communication between all people... his emotion evident when he brought his hands together in front of him...I kept thinking back to "treat others as you wish to be treated". Our classroom can be a place to model productive discussions for our future citizens also. Tracy accentuated the amount of learning that can happen online in the MTBoS community because it is an incredibly supportive environment. Let's connect all levels of teachers of mathematics...
I met so many incredible people, some recognizable from their twitter picture...some from hearing their name mentioned, or looking at their name badge. I laugh when I recall how many times I said to someone "YOU are ___? OMG! I read your posts all the time!" Even with my years of experience, there is so much out there to learn and share - including the energy and talent of so many younger math ed rock stars. I'm still not done going over my notes and the website from TMC16. I hope that I can get more colleagues and connections to join in the fun and learning! I'm glad that I had the courage to attend! I will push through the fear and get others to engage! Thank you MTBoS and TMC16 crew for all you do!