MTBoS #4 – Listen and Learn

So, thanks to Julie and the MTBoS crew, I remembered to login last night to the Global Math Department. Family took me away before it was over but not before I saw some great Geogebra tools that I did not know about. I knew – in theory – that GeoGebra had some built-in stats software but I had never seen if before. Thanks to the crew leading the convo last night ( Jennifer, John, and Audrey) I came away with some skills I did not have when I woke up yesterday. That’s a good thing. I intend to listen in on some Infinite Tangent podcasts to catch up – probably this weekend on my iPod while I am supervising some campus activities. This week’s challenge reminded me of some important lessons. If I let life just move along I can feel busy as hell, I can take care of what I NEED to take care of, and I can find time to be with family, friends, and students. However, if I commit to taking care of the teacher part of myself, I need to carve out time in a very conscious way. I need to remind myself of these learning and sharing opportunities because the recharge me. I need to consciously set aside time where I plug in in a quiet way to tap into my resources. What I think I am also discovering – and this is related to the whole MTBoS challenge series – is that twitter might not fit me very well. I got excited at first when I sent out a plea for help and was contacted by Keith Devlin within an hour offering me help. Pretty damned cool, I thought. However, since that first call for help I have sent out two others and received nothing in reply. I check in on my twitter at night and feel overwhelmed by trying to catch up to what has happened since I was last on. Perhaps I just need to adjust how I interact with it. Perhaps it is just not for me – not for the way I want to digest info, not for the schedule my life has now. I engaged for a little while in an Algebra II chat on Monday while I was on dorm duty. I felt swamped by the multiple threads and by my loaner iPad binging at me constantly. I had a few nice exchanges with Jennifer (who was one of last night’s co-hosts) but it was not a satisfying experience overall. I was sent to a blog post recently from a former teacher who pointed to his efforts to being plugged in as the source of his leaving the profession. I don’t know that he sold me on that with his story, but parts of it did resonate. Finding a balance these days is a serious challenge.