Sunday, August 1, 2010

My New Blog (About Me)

For those who don't know me well yet, I'm sure you'll come to learn a few things about me as this goes on. Here are a few things to get you started:

I'm a math teacher in middle Tennessee at a public school in a suburb of Nashville. I have all the calculus courses offered at our school (Honors Calculus, AP Calc AB, and AP Calc BC) and then usually a couple extra courses to round out my schedule (in the past, Algebra II, but PreCalculus this coming year).

I think of myself as a "helper." That's partly why I'm only now starting this blog, but am somewhat well known in certain circles for my comments on others' blogs. If you look through my twitter feed, I bet you'll find that most of them are responses to others. It's also why I've become a teacher.

I am somewhat of a wolverine wrangler. I find myself mentally correcting grammar/spelling mistakes I see online (and elsewhere) all the time, I have trouble with "real world" problems because it gets really complicated really fast and I get overwhelmed very quickly, I love math because you can set the rules however you want and then go nuts within those boundaries while safely knowing the boundaries are there (later blog post on this maybe?).

The 2010-11 school year will start my experience at 4.5 years. I left graduate school (seeking a PhD in math at Vanderbilt) mid-year because it wasn't getting me where I wanted to go and I didn't really need it to teach high school math like I actually wanted. So, I took a position at an inner-city school in Memphis for the spring semester before making my way back to Nashville and starting at a new school that had just opened and have been there since.

The school where I am now opened in 2004 with just freshmen and sophomores and added a new class each year until 2006 when I showed up to teach their first calculus classes.

The good: Being a new school, the facilities are pretty great. The area for the school is mostly made up of students whose parents work at the auto plants nearby (formerly Saturn, now Nissan) and these parents tend to value education and keep an eye on their child's progress. Being in the rural South, most of our students are very polite and respectful. The Williamson County School District is one of the best in the state.

The bad: During the 6 years that the school has been open, there have been at least 3 instances of teachers and students having inappropriate relationships. This has led to severe limitations on our tech access (many sites are blocked at school for both teachers and students including youtube, google image searches, twitter, and many other useful sites). At this school more than most others I've seen, "senioritis" is a huge issue. Being in the rural South, there is a small amount of racism that persists in our school culture--two years ago we had to ban all students from wearing the "rebel flag" after some students found a noose in a kid's pick-up truck in the parking lot.

I'm sure you'll pick up quite a bit more about me and my teaching philosophy and whatnot as I let more of myself out through this blog (and comments on others').

Both of my parents are teachers (dad teaches Chemistry at a university; mom used to teach English and History on the middle school level until she moved into the library), so it's something I've grown up with and I owe them a lot for my getting this far.

As a blog, I'm not too interested in building up numbers of followers or becoming popular. I plan on just throwing idea-noodles out there and if something sticks to you, it's ready. Good luck finding something useful!

I'm a dog person.


  1. Hmm. I'm a cat person. Yet I think I'll keep reading. :-)

  2. Thanks for the intro :)

    I just like animals, but am now owned by a 70 lb half-poodle disguised as a red setter.

    Looking forward to reading your thoughts. My main focus is precalc, so I'm always interested in what the calc folk are up to so I can support.