My two cents (Week of Feb 22, 2021)

For each school day of the 2020-21 school year, I will be writing two sentences to capture some of the impressions, feelings, experiences, or thoughts I had that day. This is the 20th post in the series.

Monday (Feb 22)
After checking in on everyone’s break, I used a Desmos activity on inverse functions to ease us into the week. It went well.

Tuesday (Feb 23)
My 8th period needed a mental health day. We talked about oranges, recipes involving oranges, what makes an orange part of the citrus family, the color orange itself; it was quite fun…and, dare I say, philosophical.

Wednesday (Feb 24)
This has been a revengeful week; it’s like it knew that we had a week off for mid-winter break and wanted to get even by making us all suffer. Thankfully, I felt productive doing lots of small tasks, creating lots of opportunities for small victories.

Thursday (Feb 25)
For Black History Month, I had my students research a Black mathematician of their choosing and write a short profile of them. Today, after one of my students emailed their mathematician to see if she would be a guest speaker in our class, one of these mathematicians (Dr. Lauren L. Thomas) visited my fifth period class and shared her story with us.

Friday (Feb 26)
Had two colleagues join me for the cogen today, who have showed interest in starting their own (we talked a lot about videos). In the racial and social justice staff workshop after school, I shared (for the first time publicly) a harmful experience that a black, female school colleague had when she was dismissed from our school because of a “white privilege” shirt she was wearing; I was nervous.



bp

My two cents (Week of Feb 8, 2021)

For each school day of the 2020-21 school year, I will be writing two sentences to capture some of the impressions, feelings, experiences, or thoughts I had that day. This is the 19th post in the series.

Monday (Feb 8)
During the first 10 minutes of ninth period, 11/15 of students participated in some way (over the mic or in the chat) within the first 13 minutes of class. Considering that I have had so much silence in their class (so much so that at one point I actually started reading my current book aloud on Zoom), I was absolutely thrilled; today was a good day.

Tuesday (Feb 9)
Fifth period may have decided on a new class theme: snacks and es hora de comer. I scrambled to prep and distribute the second mathematical penpal letters for eighth period and somehow managed to pull it off.

Wednesday (Feb 10)
I sent a former student, MC, an email wishing her happy birthday, which made waking up today totally worth it. In first period, the roles were switched and instead of the class voting on the top they wanted me to wear today, a student volunteered and we voted on her top (the winner was a tie-dye hoodie).

Thursday (Feb 11)
A low-key day full of flex time to complete the week’s assignments. In ninth period, it made me happy to drop two close friends in the same breakout so they could talk to one another; given how foreign my students have been to me this year, the fact that I knew they were close friends and was able to act on it was an unusual feeling that I appreciated so much.

Friday (Feb 12)
No Classes — Lunar New Year

My two cents (Week of Feb 1, 2021)

For each school day of the 2020-21 school year, I will be writing two sentences to capture some of the impressions, feelings, experiences, or thoughts I had that day. This is the 18th post in the series.

Monday (Feb 1)
With 12 inches of snowing falling and falling throughout the day, this would have been a surefire snow day. Low and behold, we had professional development (a damn good one too, I might add).

Tuesday (Feb 2)
Taking the advice from my cogen, who said that I should not go hard on the first days back from break, we had a light class. I was very excited to unveil, in honor of Black History Month, the “A Mathematician and Me” writing activity.

Wednesday (Feb 3)
An unusually relaxing day. Strangely, I found myself caught up with grading and emails by midday; I honestly didn’t know what to do with myself.

Thursday (Feb 4)
During office hours, I encouraged a student to “take over” and lead the session, which was essentially was tutoring on this week’s Turn In. I faded into the shadows of Zoom and let take over; she did an incredible job fielding questions and leading students to answers without explicitly telling them what to do.

Friday (Feb 5)
Reflecting on my week, I held back tears in the afternoon as I wrote several of my students emails expressing gratitude for their hard work, willingness to participate, and the connections we’ve created during remote learning this year. Having finally made time to do this, it was extremely cathartic; when some of the students replied with kind sentiments of their own, I felt the tremendous weight of the year land on my shoulders and couldn’t but get emotional.

My two cents (Week of Jan 25, 2021)

For each school day of the 2020-21 school year, I will be writing two sentences to capture some of the impressions, feelings, experiences, or thoughts I had that day. This is the 17th post in the series.

Monday (Jan 25)
In aiding so many students in makeup work both in class and during office hours, my throat felt like sandpaper by the end of it all. Had probably the most successful day grading and entering grades that I’ve had all year.

Tuesday (Jan 26)
In helping a student with makeup work, I realized how uncomfortable it made me to ask him to complete missing assignments…given that I knew next to nothing about him. I told him this and asked him to tell me something meaningful about himself; he told me he liked soccer.

Wednesday (Jan 27)
More one-on-ones with students today. I went out of my way to learn something else about the student from yesterday; he’s really into the game Warzone on PS5.

Thursday (Jan 28)
Thankful to have had the chance to tell a colleague the extent to which I respect him. Took a break from make-up work in 8th period and had a great conversation with two kids about ageism.

Friday (Jan 29)
Found myself in a perfunctory mood for most of the day, though it ended on a high note when I recorded the semester one recap show for the podcast. A women of color expressed her frustration with me during a breakout room during the school-wide RSJ session.