I am sitting in the airport about to leave Twitter Math Camp, and I can’t stop thinking about everything that I experienced the last few days. I’m trying to capture as many ideas as I can with the goal of using it to be a little bit better in the classroom this year, but I’m also happy knowing that what I got out of TMC goes way beyond any new activity or question or explanation I use this year.
It’s the community. Or, in the words of Lisa Henry, “it’s the community, stupid”. It’s the conversations — talking about questioning during a session, or designing tasks late at night, or polynomials at the barbecue, or the intricacies of our students early in the morning, or the messiness of teaching at the airport when I thought I was done. It’s the teachers who inspire me to be more creative, more compassionate, and more thoughtful in the classroom. It’s the vision of what great teaching looks like that is pieced together from keynotes, morning sessions, anecdotes, jokes, and heart to hearts at the piano bar. It’s what reminds me why I do this work, why it is so important, why it is worth all the time and effort, and why I will keep doing it for a very long time.
I will try to put together some more thoughts the next few days, but right now I need to get on a plane, and I feel so happy with everything I have experienced the last few days and what it means for my practice as I say goodbye to a wonderful summer of math and teaching, and say hello to a new school and new adventures, and to a year where I will continue to lean on those wiser than I am.