Check, Check…

…is this thing on?

Yes, mathtwitterblogosphere*, I’m still here, and still teaching.

About this time last year is when I really started to feel overwhelmed with it all, and then… it’s all a bit of a blur, but I got through it, and inexplicably, I came back for more.  Blogging was the last thing on my mind, because that first year was rough, y’all.  So, huge props to anyone who blogs their way through their first year.  I couldn’t manage.

This year has been substantially better so far, for a long list of reasons.  Smaller class sizes, teaching two consecutive courses which helps me plan “vertically,” smaller class sizes, having a better handle on this whole “teaching” gig, smaller class sizes, understanding that sometimes I’m too darn nice and need to be The Bad Guy for a while, and my class sizes are smaller…  🙂

Meanwhile, I became a big Instagrammer over the summer.  (Driving on a cross-country road trip and taking 3000 pictures can have that effect on you, it turns out.)  But… I’m not really down with Instagram’s ToS.  I’m no artist, but I like owning my photos.  I stopped posting on Facebook a long time ago (even though it’s very well locked-down from kids seeing much more than my face and name, I’m still not comfortable with their policies), and I feel like I should start backing away from Instagram too.  Pressgram sounds like a good alternative, and hey: most of my Instagram posts are of my classroom anyway.  Pictures and captions I can handle.  Real written-out posts (like this) take time to edit, and I am a perfectionist.

TL;DR: I’m not quite dead yet, and I will be experimenting with Pressgram.  It may lead to me posting more often.  Or not!  Time will tell.  We’ll see.  But in any case, I’m still here, and already nearly a quarter of the way through #year2.  🙂

* I thought to myself, not having read hardly any posts in the last year, Surely someone has started calling it MTBoS by now, and verily, they have.  Good stuff.

** More people should end blog posts with a TL;DR.  Sometimes I see my math ed Feedly piling up with posts and I’m all, ain’t nobody got time for that!

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About the Name

I recently (as in, three weeks ago recently) became Mrs. Smith.

Though my inner feminist wouldn’t otherwise be too crazy about the idea of changing my last name to match his, she’s appeased by a pleasant coincidence in this case: Mr. Smith’s middle name is my maiden name.  (One of my bridesmaids jokes that she’s going to tell everyone that he took my name too, which irks him to no end but doesn’t bother me a bit.)  So by taking his last name, and bumping up my maiden name, the groom and I now have the same middle and last names.  In my book, this is pretty awesome.

I’ve had a few people tell me that they’re not sure why I would willingly jump on to take such a “bland” and “common” name as Smith.  (Honestly, the sheer rudeness of some people can be astounding, particularly when weddings are involved.)  Personally, I love the name!

I could list several reasons that I like the name, but the reason that’s relevant here is that I like its meaning.  To be a smith is to be a creator of something from a certain raw material.  A blacksmith crafts tools from iron; a silversmith makes things from silver.

So I realized, as a math teacher, it’s like I’m taking the raw material of mathematics, and using it to create…well, I suppose you could say a lot of things here.  “Critical thinkers” comes to mind first.  “Lifelong learners” too, though after grad school that sounds too cliche.

Of course, at this point, I still feel like more of an apprentice than a fully-fledged mathsmith, but I’ll get there.

Coming soon…

Here’s that requisite awkward “hello world!” post.

This August, I will finally be embarking on my teaching career f’realsies.  I’ve finished my MAT, gotten my certificate, and signed a contract to teach at a great high school.  I’ll be diving head-first into the new common core curriculum with the Coordinate Algebra course (also known as Algebra I to most folks).

But before that happens, I’m getting married in 12 days (OMG)!  So the blog will be starting after the honeymoon and whatnot.  I will start sorting out my teaching thoughts here once I have time to have teaching thoughts again.

I mostly just had a good idea what to title this thing (finally, as I’m awful with titles and usernames), and wanted to stake my claim in the twitterblogosphere.

Hello, teaching world.  See you soon.