I’m pretty excited about #MTBoS30, it was only 2 years ago when my blog was less than a month old and I decided to take this challenge on. At that time I started doing #MTBoS30 because I wanted blogging to become a regular practice. Now as I am posting this my 100th blog post(100!), I find myself approaching the 30-day blog challenge with the goals in mind:
- Establish blogging as a regular practice,
- Allow that practice to inform and improve my teaching
- Support other bloggers out there that are doing the same thing.
Establishing A Practice
There a number of reasons why I want my blog to be a practice. Not a journal, not a scrap book, and certainly not the definitive resource for all the world’s math education needs. It can’t be all of those things, for a lot of reasons. What I do want to get in to is why it can be a practice.
Teaching is a difficult job and it already has so much day-to-day chaos involved, it is hard to stay grounded. This year I am adding on to that the ball-of-whirling-overwhelm that is being an administrator, making each commute home feel extra exhausting.
The blog for me needs to be a place where I take a second to remind myself that all of this stuff that I am doing is worth something. I want to pull whatever positive nuggets out of my crazy days, like a prospector pulling nuggets of gold out of, you know, those trays full of murky water. The nuggets of gold are there, the moments of wonder and sparks of brilliance are scattered throughout, all day long. I just need to get in the habit of putting on my boots, and my little prospector screen-tray thing, and get those nuggets out and into the world so they don’t get lost down river.
The Practice Should Help The Other Practice
Did you ever play the game maelstrom? It’s where you move around in a spaceship and shoot meteors before you crash into them. The game starts and you’re grounded, and all you have to do is swivel in either direction while shooting. I was good at this part of the game. At some point, you have to use your rocket boosters to avoid a meteor. These boosters lazily direct your ship in any direction, but not responsively enough to stop on a dime and avoid a meteor. So now you have to not only worry about what direction to swivel and shoot, but also what direction your ship is headed in. Once the game gets hard, you always have to use the rocket, you always have to learn how to control what you’re shooting at in the short term, but also where your ship is drifting in the long run. To be good at maelstrom you have to be good at both your long-term direction, and moment-to-moment meteor blasting. I suck at this part of maelstrom.
As we approach May every year, I feel like I’m the spaceship in that game maelstrom that has been set adrift and can’t get back to normal. The daily or at least regular practice of blogging can help me keep my spaceship in the middle of the screen, maybe all the time in the middle. It can help me sort out what I just finished doing and also help me clarify what I am going to do next. Having a practice of pulling out the important ideas and being able to look at all of them over time could help me with that long-term thinking that evaded me in middle school. In that sense my blogging work is a actually a part of a larger process of me being able to do my best teaching/adminstrating work, but not my best work in and of itself (although on some days I think my writing might be pretty good).
Diving in to the community
My favorite part of the #MTBoS30 is also all of the community. Knowing that there are a lot of people in the same struggle as me is always helpful. I hope to let people know that I appreciate their work by commenting on all of the blogs that I read, and I hope who ever read mine feel free to do the same (even if the comment is like 3 words or whatever).