Okay, before I begin, let me be clear. I am grateful for the position in which God has blessed me. I know He has placed me in it for a reason. With that said, I must admit, I have a bad case of teacher envy!

When you have the opportunity to observe other teachers, you get to see a lot. Some days can be really dark and you find yourself in need of something to lift your spirits. For certain, I know of 2 classrooms in which I find a math sanctuary. I know, at any given moment when I walk in, there’s going to be some goodness for my math soul.

But have you ever seen something in another teacher’s class that made you cry, “I wanna do that!!” I kid you not, just about every time I walk in @tenaciousXpert 8th grade class, my math soul cries out, “I wanna do that!” From small groups set up in the four quadrants of the coordinate plane created on her floor to the reinforcing of vocabulary when she calls on the groups, “someone from quadrant four answer…”.

When you talk with her about her students, she holds them in high regards. I have never once heard her utter the words, “My kids can’t…” I’ve only ever heard her talk about what she’s planning to do to ensure her students reach the level of the standards. She talks about the cognitive processes and executive functions.

You probably can’t imagine why I might be jealous of her.

Because of this:

While working on this standard:

*For example, arrange three copies of the same triangle so that the sum of the three angles appears to form a line, and give an argument in terms of transversals why this is so*.

She intentionally built small group activities for students to see the connection between why the interior angles of a triangle add up to 180 degrees, to finding the exterior angles of triangles to the angle of parallel lines cut by a transversal. So methodical and purposeful.

When she told me about her plans for Pythagorean Theorem, I really wanted to hate on her, but that’s not a part of my nature. I could only celebrate with her, as her students developed aha moments which carried them through accomplishing Taco Cart. The class worked together to conceptually understand WHY a^2 + b^2 = c^2!

(Yes, she cut out foam pieces for this activity.)

Each time she sent me a picture, my math soul cried, “I wanna do that!” While I thought I was doing big things in my class in this unit, she is setting up real world scenarios in her classroom.

“LIKE, WHO DOES THIS!” my math soul shouted. I want to be her right now, I remember thinking. To see the kids make connections is so exciting to me, I always want to be there for it. I want to be a part of the math goodness.

Then there’s this!

NEED I SAY MORE! But I will. With tasks such as In and Out Burger, she instills perseverance and math proud in each of her students. They go home and work on math over the weekend because…wait for it…they are too excited about the math to wait until the next class period.

I miss that, I envy that she has the opportunity to expose her students to their full potential each and everyday. But I’m grateful I can witness her greatness.

Great work by and incredible teacher!!! You sure know how to coach!!!

Thanks for reading Netoba. And thanks for the compliments to both Nickeva and me.

I am just now discovering your site. It took me a long time, but your words are giving me back my math life that I lost. I need to read about other math teachers having so much creativity and love for the path I chose also. So much can get lost in standardized test and paperwork. Thank you for being a vessel.

Thanks for reading Aminah! Yes, sometimes with the pressures we forget that conceptual teaching and going slow to go fast will get us the desired results we want in the end.