Sunday, October 6, 2013

Math is Happening When?

Hello world! Welcome to my first entree into the world of blogging about my experiences teaching math. (You can see my first entree into the world of blogging about other things in my life here, if you're curious.) A little bit about my teaching history, for context:

Palo Alto and Namibia, Peace Corps

I started my teaching career as a long term sub in my hometown of Palo Alto. There, the wonderful Sue Duffek was my mentor, who I clung to tenaciously, since I had no teacher training at all. After that, off to Namibia where I taught Maths and English in a small village near the Angolan border.

Look at Meme Laura! Imagine trying to get good math done on that tiny blackboard with a limited chalk supply. The classroom looks pretty nice, and it was, except for the lack of electricity or running water on campus. During the rainy season, things were rough. It's hard to learn when you're wearing those same thin uniforms, but soaking wet and cold. Also you don't have a pencil.

San Francisco - Public Charter School

After 2 years there, I came back to the US and started teaching at a wonderful charter school, here in San Francisco. I had the privilege of working with some amazing educators there, including Mark Isero (whose Classroom Kindle Project is as an inspiration for the power of technology, hard work, and social media to benefit students). And my students there were amazing as well - truly remarkable assortment of young people. LHS taught me more about teaching in my 5 years there than I could imagine learning in any other school.

San Francisco - Small Private School

Aaaand, during those 5 years I worked so hard that I almost burnt out. I met my now-husband, and decided I wanted to be able to be in my personal life a bit more. The Math Gods smiled down on me, and I jumped at the opportunity to be able to teach with the most amazing math educator I have ever known, Henri Picciotto. They were also looking for someone to step into his enormous shoes and attempt to lead the department as he entered into retirement from full-time teaching. So now here I am, in my 4th year teaching at a wonderful small private school in San Francisco (and 3rd year as the Math Department Chair). 

This year, one of my goals was to continue to get more involved in the online math ed community. So when the inspiring Dan Meyer advertised the folks at Explore MTBoS who have created 8 weeks of missing to do just that, I signed right up! And here I am, writing my first blog entry!

Wish me luck.

What about the title, though?!

Also, my title come from one of my most-used reminders to students, "Life is happening now." Copyright my friend Lindsay Stiegler, a fabulous personal trainer who does not support just sitting there when you could be running a lap, or thinking about math.


  1. Welcome to the MTBoS! As a new teacher, I'll try to swing by here from time to time and see what I can learn. Beg, borrow, and steal, as they say.

    1. Thanks for the comment! I will try to provide some things worthy of reuse!

  2. I also welcome you! I have taught in the American Embassy School, New Delhi and at Lincoln School in Accra Ghana. I love traveling and teaching overseas! Can't wait to hear what's up your sleeve!

    1. Thanks Amy! My husband and I have talked about living abroad sometime in the future, so I look forward to learning more from your experiences!

  3. Awesome blog title! Can't wait to hear about all your different school experiences, welcome!

  4. Great work! I can't wait to read more. And thanks for mentioning me, too! Love the pic in Namibia.