I had the pleasure to attend my friend and mentor's retirement party last week. We taught together for the first seven years of my career and I tried to observe and learn everything I could. We have stayed in touch on and off through the years and even at his retirement party there I was motivated and pushed to reflect and think about best practices for myself and my students. After his current staff sang, carried out skits about his career, and spoke about him...he blessed us with his own thoughts. The room was filled with laughter and tears.
Part of his message led me to this post. In reflecting about his career, he urged his peers and shared some of his experiences with professional organizations and opportunities he's had being involved at levels outside the immediate classroom. There are opportunities for learning, sharing, and growing and I believe this is very important to keep fresh and a passion for what we do daily.
I had let my membership expire to nctm.org this year, The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. When I began to think about this over the weekend, I realized I needed to belong again. One reason, was the need to check out their professional resources that are just fabulous and purchase those related to kdg. Another was for the current information related to mathematics teaching and their publication Teaching Children Mathematics. You might look for this in your school library in the professional journal session, if you have one. Through their Members Only area, one is able to find more lessons and resources to use, and you can search standards and principals in mathematics. Illuminations is a free resource with lessons, activities, web links that have been reviewed to help educators teach mathematics. Figure This! is a great free resource to help middle school families with rich engaging math challenges and advice for communicating with your child's school about homework and their math instruction. I have found things here to extend my higher students with problem solving. Children grow when they have to think a bit harder and are feeling challenged. You can also find some helpful things without being a member. Definitely a site to explore.
I have a bachelor's degree in elementary education with a multidisciplinary focus. It wasn't until a few years ago, I realized why I chose this focus beyond the reason that most of my hours would fit into it when I transferred schools. I love the integration of learning and all areas of our school day. I think this blog might include this, too.