Saturday, July 29, 2017

#iteachmath & I belong in #MTBoS - Part 2

For me, yesterday's post demonstrates why I prefer blogging to Twitter.  I am a practical, logical person by nature (I'm a math teacher, duh.), but I'm still human.  Yesterday's post was an impulsive, knee-jerk reaction to the Twitter debates that were going on.

I like to plan my blog posts.  I usually type up a draft, wait a day, and then proofread it before I post.  I like to weigh my words and make sure I'm getting my point across.  In short, I like to think things through.  This is why I'm better at blogging than tweeting (and real-life conversations for that matter).

Yesterday's post was intended for me to organize my thoughts on feelings on the subject.  #MTBoS gave me support that I don't get at my school.  (Not because my colleagues aren't fabulous, but because I'm the only one teaching Geometry.)  So, it turns out that I am very protective of the community that I sometimes choose to participate in.

That being said, I stand by what I posted yesterday with two exceptions that I would like to clarify now.

Firstly, this:  "I said it on Twitter, and I'll say it again.  All of the people opposing #MTBoS are identifying their own hang-ups as reasons that they didn't join in.  "I didn't know what to tweet." "I felt intimidated by the things other teachers were doing."  It just bugs me that people are projecting their insecurities onto #MTBoS and blaming its members for how they feel."
Even as I wrote this comment, I worried that it may be dismissive.  However, at the time, I didn't have any evidence to the contrary.  Now I do.  While I think this comment does hold true for some people, there are people that were legitimately attempting to participate, but were shut down by members of the #MTBoS.  That breaks my teacher heart.  Can you image how you would feel if you realized that you did that to a student, even if it were by accident?  I've encountered the same thing in teacher groups on facebook, and I can tell you that it doesn't feel good.  It makes people give up, and it can even make people remove their input from the conversation, which is like moving backward from what I view as the mission of #MTBoS.  Also, I believe in a person's perception being their reality.  If so many people felt that way, then there's something there that we need to fix.

Secondly, this was said out of anger, confusion, and little logic:  "I cannot help but feel that announcing the call to "retire #MTBoS" during #TMC when many #MTBoS people are preoccupied was a calculated move on Dan's part.  That does not sit well with me."
I formally apologize to Dan for making assumptions about bad timing.

Are you ready for the silver lining?  This whole thing has opened up a discussion about the simple fact that we have got to do better.  People are talking about bringing back chats, sharing "unsexy"/basic lessons to counter intimidation caused by sharing only the best lessons, and how to welcome, encourage, and promote new members.  To anyone that does not consider themselves to be part of the #MTBoS yet, WE WANT YOU HERE!!

If you feel like you are on the outside looking in, can you please take me as an example?  Yes, I started tweeting using the hashtag four years ago.  However, I feel that I was not truly involved in the Twitter side of #MTBoS until yesterday.  I've tweeted questions that fell on deaf ears, and shared things without receiving any acknowledgement.  But yesterday I jumped in to tweet my thoughts/feelings about what has turned out to be a central issue, and I was greeted with clarifying questions, collaboration, and acceptance.  I promise you that I am totally shy and socially insecure in person, and if I can do this, then you can do this too.

It looks like changes are coming to better math teacher twitter, and I'm ready to embrace them.  Are you?

1 comment:

  1. "I formally apologize to Dan for making assumptions about bad timing."

    I formally accept!

    "While I think this comment does hold true for some people, there are people that were legitimately attempting to participate, but were shut down by members of the #MTBoS. That breaks my teacher heart. Can you image how you would feel if you realized that you did that to a student, even if it were by accident?"

    No doubt your comments were right about some people. Community is hard. I don't know how much responsibility is reasonable to take for a stranger's sense of belonging on math teacher twitter.

    But I wish I could get a glimpse of a world that's the same as ours in every way except one, and see if the same people felt excluded.

    A world where everybody's first tweet gets a response.

    ReplyDelete

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