Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Obligatory First Blog Post - From Lindsey

Wow. To be honest, this is a moment for me; I never every thought I would be writing a blog post, so here goes nothing! :)

Blogging just never seemed like something I would find myself doing. I am a decent writer and most definitely never at a loss for something to say, but I honestly just never felt like what I had to say was important enough that it needed its own social media platform, and arguably I still feel that way. I am still convinced no one, besides maybe my mom and other friends I guilt, will follow our blog. (*Our blog raises a good point, maybe Brittany's mom will follow too!!)  However, the selling point for me was that even if no one ever reads this besides those already near and dear, a blog can and will be a great reflection tool for me. I am super passionate about my career and the position I ended up in and I feel like I do have a lot to share with the world to make it a better place, mathematically at least!

So that's why I (we) are here. We love math. So much it hurts sometimes! In the Fall of 2014 my career changed dramatically when I began a new role to my district: a math interventionist. I have learned and am still learning SO much about how students learn math. Want to know the absolute craziest thing so far about my job? When I tell people (adults) what I do for a living, easily over half of the time their response is that they "could have used me growing up" or that they "could really use me right now." Really? Is that seriously a socially acceptable thing to say as an adult?! There is literally an entire population of capable people walking around who are absolutely okay with admitting they are "not math people." I don't know about you but I have never heard an adult speak the same way about literacy. No one is running around proudly professing they cannot read or write. So what's the deal with math? When I was growing up math was treated just like it was described above, it was something you either understood, or didn't understand - and that was that. Facts and algorithms were memorized, and those of us who got it did not question it because it worked. Those of us who didn't get it just stared at the clock waiting for the end of the period.

My passion about this subject is fueled by these realities. I want every student to have conceptual understandings in mathematics because that is what they deserve. There are studies done, most notably by Jo Boaler, that every single student is capable of learning math to high levels. There are amazing things to find on her website: -  I really encourage you to check it out sometime!

Our blog is our blog because there are two of us. I am Lindsey, a bilingual math interventionist, and I work with my partner Brittany, who is also a math interventionist. So basically our jobs are two-fold: We work with students in an intervention setting for math, and we also support our staffs in implementing math from a more conceptual place through a math workshop. We are not math workshop experts, but at the current time we are the most knowledgable people in our buildings regarding math thanks to how much our district has invested in us so we are who our teachers go to when they are looking for guidance and/or ideas. We began to create materials for ourselves and our teachers that fit this conceptual understandings ideal we hold near and dear.  One day we were encouraged to try and sell the things we have created on Teachers Pay Teachers. Again, feeling a bit inadequate, we tossed the idea around at first for quite awhile before diving in. We browsed the site for what kinds of products were out there and selling well and decided to give it a shot. We already had a lot of products made, now we just had to make them marketable and visually appealing to a buyer.  We are both pretty tech savvy and that has definitely played to our advantage.  Mid-November we opened up our store and we are gaining momentum every week! It's been a lot of fun and a great experience for us - our significant others also enjoy a reason to spend time together doing all sorts of "productive male things" on the weekends while we hold our TPT workshops in the kitchen over a bottle(s) of wine. I look forward to this piece of the puzzle and how it unfolds :) Thanks for reading!


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