Tonight, I am giving a webinar or a talk on the Global Math Department about the work we have done in Iowa since I have been at the Iowa Department of Education. I really like to challenge myself to do things like this because they force me to grow and think. Think about what I do, why I do it, and what is the impact. As I thought about what started this journey, it struck me that it was gaps in knowledge. Not students or teachers knowledge, but my knowledge! I found myself learning many things that I wish I would have known. Things that I wish I would have known so I could have been a better teacher, made students smarter about math, make them ready for the real-world, to be problem solvers and college and career ready.
I realized that there was so much that was known about good math education and I had no idea. I did not know what I did not know. Which means, this gap in knowledge had an impact. It had an impact on students. Ugh! The one thing that I was trying to avoid and yet due to my own gaps, I contributed to the gaps of my students. I did not know that. I was mortified. Then I thought, I wished I had known. I would have done differently. I had done instruction, assessment, professional development, alignment, lesson study, research projects, etc. All these things without this knowledge and understanding. Yikes. I did what I knew at the time but now I wanted to undo everything. If I didn’t know these thing, were there others that also did not know?
This is how my journey began. This moment. This moment when I realized, I must tell others so they can do better. I must share this information so others know what they do not know. So, I started sharing, emails, Tweets, webinars, blogs, conference sessions, etc. Basically, anything and everything that I could to anyone and everyone using anything and everything. Then it grew, educators wanted to know more. They were starting to find things they could use and knowledge they could share. This excited me for students in Iowa because I thought we would do better.
I kept trying to use this blog as a way to make us smarter about the things in a way that was useable and kept feeling like I did not really find my niche yet. However, through getting the talk ready, it finally occurred to me. I should write about what I didn’t know I didn’t know and wished I had. So, I am renaming this blog and as different things come across my path, that I think, hey, if I would have know this when I was teacher, then I would have been a better teacher. Those, those are the things that I am going to write about that. I am going to focus on the things that I wished I would have known, how it would have changed the experience for students, how I would have used that information, etc.
I hope others will contribute topic for discussion and share their learning as well. 🙂