It’s Monday night and I sit here beaming because my weekend was awesome. I was fortunate enough to attend California Math Council’s Palm Springs conference. It was a weekend of connecting with fellow math educators, getting inspired, and always learning. Not only did I get to attend, I got to present—which upped the ante A LOT!
7 months of preparation ….convincing my collaborator on the idea, writing the proposal, editing, getting accepted, doing paperwork for my district, piecing together our presentation, gathering supplies, and figuring out who should say what, and multiple rehearsals—- had all boiled down to 90 minutes on Friday morning. It went by in a flash. But it was lightning in a bottle.
Friday morning at 8:30 am, my collaborator, Stacy and I started sharing our story (mostly Stacy’s story) to about 20 math educators. Turned out that most of them were kindergarten teachers. In introducing myself to everyone and asking where they were from, one participant said “I wasn’t going to miss this because there’s never any sessions for kindergarten.” And in my mind, I thought to myself, “then this is where I’m supposed to be.”
After starting the presentation, we found our flow. The nerves went away and we did our thing. I handled introducing each of the routines and the technical “mathy stuff” like standards and content while she told her story of what happened in her classroom. And it worked. The participants listened intently. They took notes. They actively participated. We had conversations. We reflected. Stacy looked at me at one point and I could see what she was thinking…It’s working! Yeah…I know.
When it was all said and done, Stacy and I were thrilled. Feedback was positive. Participants were happy with their give-aways. Someone asked me if we could come back next year. Too soon to tell, however—never say never.
There’s a saying…You are only as good as the people you surround yourself with! I’m fortunate to have a teacher like Stacy who’s willing to take a leap of faith, take a risk and try something new – all for the good of her students. Our collaboration is built on trust and honesty. We value each others opinions. We push each other’s thinking because we know something powerful will come of it. She is just as much a coach to me as I am to her.
To all those TOSAs, TOAs, instructional specialists, & coaches—go find YOUR Stacy. (Sorry–this red head is taken) Find a teacher that will push you as much as you push them. Develop that repoire. Nuture the coaching model. Help each other get better.
And Stacy…thank you for being you!
Until next time,