Showing posts from January, 2021

Snoop Dogg Says Read the Syllabus

 I'm a few days behind on getting last week's post up, and I blame all the beginning-of-semester prep. Tomorrow is the first day of class, so instead of a full post, here's a video of Snoop Dogg telling students to read the syllabus. This week, I'm going to start a series of posts on flipped classrooms, so be on the lookout for a real post on Friday!

Practicing Anti-Racism: Objectivity

 At the Joint Math Meetings (JMM) this year, the MAA-SIAM-AMS Hrabowski-Gates-Tapia-McBay Session Lecture was a moving talk by Dr. Erica Graham at Bryn Mawr College titled "Anti-racism in mathematics: Who, what, when, where, why, and how?".  I feel like it's going to take me until the next JMM to actually process everything in that talk. There were so many important things shared, and it was a great call-to-action.  One of the slides that stuck with me right away was a list of characteristics of white supremacist culture from Kenneth Jones and Tema Okun (2001) . I feel like this list is something I've been searching for in my work towards antiracism. It gives me a straight line from aspects of our culture that don't say the word "race" but do perpetuate racism.  So, I've decided to take this resource and weave it into my practice as a mathematician - and as a person in the world, for that matter. Each semester, I'm going to choose one of these ch

My Teaching Philosophy

 As I begin this blogging adventure, I thought it would make sense to start by outlining my teaching philosophy. There are four basic parts to the "why" of how I teach, outlined below. You must do mathematics to learn mathematics. Seems obvious, right? Yet, our default way of teaching mathematics is to talk mathematics at students, or lecture. Don't get me wrong, I've fallen into this trap. By virtue of being the teacher, we know what we are talking about, so talking about it is the easiest way to present content. However, it is also probably the most inefficient way to teach, for teaching cannot happen if learning does not happen. Lecturing is an instructor-focused activity. Learning, however, is an internal process. Students need to be working their own brains in order to learn, not passively listening to someone else. In my classrooms, I put student thinking and exploration as the focus of class time. That is not to say that I don't ever lecture. In fact, I'