#NCTMannual: Final Reflections

This is the final in a series of reflections from my time at NCTM’s annual meeting in San Francisco. Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday.

It’s time to move up Blooms – as I’ve been reflecting and writing about almost every session I sat in, I noticed some bigger trends.

1. Curriculum

We often aren’t teaching the standards, we’re teaching a curriculum  (Graham Fletcher, Jason Zimba). We teach procedures because that’s what we were taught, not because it is what is best. While we should be critical of curricula we also need to have it (Max Ray-Riek)

2. Engagement

Real world isn’t all that. “SWBAT” isn’t king. Instead, curiosity should rule and will improve student outcomes/engagement. (Dan Meyer & Annie Fetter)

3. Assessment

Formative assessment is best when you look at strategies, not just a score. (David Wees)

4. Voice

We need to use our teacher voice. We need to be advocates for students, be radically inclusive, empower others and be heard in the “math wars” (Rochelle Gutierrez,Kaneka Turner, Robert Kaplinsky, Matt Larson). Teachers are the ground troops and need to speak up for all our kids, and for each other.  (This is reminiscent of Jose Vilson’s work). I need to find a voice (via Gail Burrill) and use it to amplify my own. My students need it.

5. Fear

In at least three sessions, in my reflection I noted that I was afraid to try things out without seeing it in person. I teach at a school with zero other full time math teachers. I’ll never be able to see anything that is a math focused skill. Students won’t know if I butcher something, but they’ll know if it’s a hit. I have to stop being afraid of new things in my classroom. It should be a place to experiment to become the best possible teacher – not the okay one I am today. Next year, it’s no fear. (Open Middle, Talking Points, not having a cohesive educational philosophy and Standard Based Grading stick out as clear things I’ve avoided because of fear).


Thanks to everyone who made #NCTMannual the amazing, reflective and powerful experience it was. I look forward to seeing and learning from y’all again soon.



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