So, about that Chat…

I enjoy my job, I really do. I get to talk to students about how they perceive mathematics and help them along their road to new applications. I keep finding that I learn more every day that I am in the profession, and I like that. If someone had asked me when I first started teaching what I would do if I didn’t know an answer, I am confident I would have had some cocky answer about never not knowing an answer. I now know that not only is it OK to not know, you are actually able to have great teaching moments when you don’t.

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The same can be said about Twitter, and chats. Probably the most stress-inducing thing I have ever done is tell Justin Aion that I would take over moderating MSMathChat. It is a fairly well-established chat with wonderful people and ideas. My biggest error was that like teaching, I went into the job thinking I had to know all the answers. I started to get burnt out, as well as felt that I was letting members of the chat down because I couldn’t maintain a weekly schedule (due to family). Last year, numbers were really dwindling and I strongly considered letting the chat die, and talked a couple of great friends, Matt Coaty and Adrianne Burns into helping me moderate to keep it going. They were great and helped take a load off of me. Chat continued, more people started participating (which is the biggest reason I joined the chat and wanted to keep it going), and ideas flowed. It inspired me once again.

It inspired me so much, that it led me to take another risk. I “know” a lot of people on twitter, many I call friends even though we haven’t officially met, and I value their opinions and knowledge of teaching. I wanted to learn from them and I decided to start asking them to moderate a chat night. Guest moderators wasn’t something new, I had a google doc where people could sign up and moderate a chat, but it wasn’t often accessed or used. I took the less passive road and started directly asking specific people to chat. Something amazing happened-

They said YES.

I can’t thank my guest moderators enough these past 2 months, you have made MSMathChat great again. We have had many new people join chat, and the ideas have really re-ignited my passion for teaching. The topics have been stellar, and it seems to me like just when chat starts, the hour has passed. I spend another two hours sifting through the chat and following all the side-threads. I reflect on my views, my teaching and have found new ways to approach students, peers and math. It has been awesome and I have truly enjoyed chat.

Hopefully you will find time to check out #MSMathChat on Mondays, 8CST. We would like to have you there and hear your ideas. If you would be interested in moderating, let me know.

Share the spark of learning.