Archive for August, 2012

Math Blogging Challenge

One night while perusing through Tweets, edmodo posts, and linking up to others I stumbled upon a Blogging Challenge for math teachers.  I thought I’d join the challenge so that I could connect with others as well as learn more from math teachers who are reflecting on their practices.  I do love a good teacher reflection!  So the first challenge was to create a blog, I immediately was successful as I already had this one created!  Then I received an email with 4 possible questions to respond to in a blog post.  Here we are.

 Where does the name of your blog originate? Why did you choose that? (Bonus follow up: Why did you decide to blog?)

The Journey of Mathematics originates from my own journey as a math -a-phobe to a mathematician, and math coach.  If you’ve followed me here for awhile, if you know me personally, or if you’re lucky enough to work with me you know that my journey as an educator began with a one track mind for Language Arts.  I absolutely, positively never saw myself as a mathematical thinker.  I struggled tremendously as a student of math, and when I began teaching (3rd grade) I had to teach myself and ask mentors for help when it came to mathematical conceptual understanding.  Then after leaving the classroom full time to open a tutoring business, I was given the opportunity to work as a part time math coach in a Title I school.  I had all of the tools to be a mentor and coach to teachers, but I really had to embrace math and look for connections to ELA, and writing.  It has been an incredible journey that has transformed me into a mathematical thinker.  I continue to discover new ways to look at mathematics, and constantly am reminded that at probably no fault of their own, my teachers’ way of teaching me wasn’t a journey, it was just to get to the destination…. the right answer.  And that isn’t true mathematics at all!

I began blogging as a way of  sharing this journey with others who struggle in math, don’t think they are mathematicians, and who want to grow and learn so they can do better.  I also love to write, so this is my way of reflecting as a professional educator, in hopes of inspiring others to reflect on their practices.

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August 22, 2012 at 1:53 am 2 comments

Reflection on My First Year

As I approach the anniversary of my first year in my role as a district level math coach/administrator I have been reflecting on numerous things.  Although I’ve reflected along the way, recently I gave myself some quiet time to think about the celebrations and challenges of the last year because a new school year is about to begin, and teachers will be coming back to work looking for support.  None of my celebrations are because of acts I performed alone, there have been several people who have contributed to these successes, and I am constantly reminded of the teamwork and collaboration involved in my job!  

Celebrations

  • Building relationships with the schools I support (and more).
  • Supporting teachers in whatever way is necessary, their job is tough, and I take great pleasure in supporting them, and seeing them successful with students.
  • Learning the Common Core State Standards… I have so much more to learn, but I feel like I’m in a much better place than I was a year ago.

For every success I’ve experienced over the past year, I feel like I’ve had three times as many challenges. However, I think that the challenges are positive, and what have helped me to grow, and these keep me constantly hungry for more knowledge. 

Challenges

  • Politics. I don’t play politics very well, and I’m pretty much a straight shooter, however I’ve learned to keep my mouth closed and my ears open at all times.
  • Keep openings on my calendar in case of a last minute meeting that I’m required to attend.
  • Learning the shortest route between different schools.
  • Ask more questions than instantly giving input.
  • Working directly with students LESS (This is still a great challenge, because  I miss working directly with students the most)
  • People’s lack of professionalism (If only everyone would speak and act professionally)

So then, what have I learned over the past year from these celebrations and challenges? After all, the journey is about learning that occurs, to make educated  choices as I continue on the journey, and to know that I have more clarity going forward. I think I’ve definitely learned that I do aspire to be a school principal one day, that became crystal clear over the last few weeks.  I also learned that I’m often quick to make judgments, and I really need to work on that. I also learned a lot about my colleagues; such as they have the same vision and beliefs as me, we love to collaborate, and we have different strengths which nicely compliment one another.  Lastly, I’ve learned that life is more than my job. Don’t get me wrong, I’m passionate about my job, and I take every bit of it seriously, but there is more to the BIG PICTURE than my job, and when other things need my attention, it’s okay to give it.  I think I’ve achieved a pretty good balance in my life, but I once read something that said it’s not so much about balance, as it is about being content.  I am content. 

With the first day of school just around the corner, and teachers returning tomorrow, I’m thinking about the excitement of another “new beginning” and all that lies ahead.  There will be more celebrations, challenges, and lessons to learn; and THAT  is why I love being an educator!

August 15, 2012 at 11:35 am 1 comment

My Journey Continues

As the beginning of another school year approaches, I’ve been reflecting on this journey I’ve “officially” been on for 13 years. Although I believe the journey began long before I started my teaching career. I’m considering renaming this blog, because it’s more than a journey of mathematics. This journey is about figuring out who I am as an educator, who I aspire to be as an educational leader. In 1999 when asked what my goals were, I could tell you I wanted to eventually do more than teaching in a classroom, but I couldn’t put my finger on exactly what that was. Over the years I’ve been told by several colleagues, mentors, and friends that I belong in administration. However, to me that wasn’t exactly what I could see myself doing, at least not in the traditional “administrator” role. On my journey I have learned that administration is not what it used to be, and principals specifically, are not just building managers. This makes sense, but it’s taken recent years and recent experiences to clearly see that maybe, that truly is the direction I’m headed. Becoming a principal, not a building manager.
I love all things about education, and with each new “era”, I’ve been inspired, intrigued, and excited. The more I work to build my PLN (Personal Learning Network) and connect with other like-minded leaders, I can visualize myself leading a school. I haven’t reached my destination yet, but I sure am more clear about what I want my focus to be.
Henry Miller said, “One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.”. This speaks so loudly to me about my own journey because I see so many different styles of ” administration” and understanding the need for instructional leaders, I can now see my own destiny.

August 11, 2012 at 11:34 am Leave a comment


Kristen Hahn

August 2012
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