I am terrible at moderation. Terrible.
I’m not sure I even want to be good at moderating.
When I find something I like, I indulge until there is no more.
An example: I tried to make a little geometric art with a compass and straightedge. The next day I was investing too much money and all of my time in compasses, pencils, fancy markers, watercolor paints, brushes…etc. I barely slept for weeks obsessed with making increasingly complex designs.
I teach at a public alternative school. A school where many of my students have struggled with some type of addiction and/or anxiety. My students also struggle with moderation. Impulse control is a challenge for teens because it is a part of a developing teen brain. How can I use this to my advantage?
Why do I need to give them headaches and aspirin in order to generate student buy-in to learning mathematics?
Why not instead make learning math so satisfying that we all want more? Like my experience with Islamic geometric design? Let’s find ways to give learners and their teachers so much satisfaction in making connections and understanding that we all want more.
I propose that we shift our thinking away from, “If Math Is The Aspirin, Then How Do You Create The Headache?” and move towards, “If making connections and discovering is exciting that how do you maximize these opportunities for learners to get them hooked?”
I know it is possible. I have experienced it with my students.
I want to shift perspectives on teaching and learning from headaches and aspirin to connections, discoveries, beauty and excitement.
I need to remember to always invest the time and effort in finding the beauty in a concept for myself and then develop my lessons from this perspective.
Requiring all math to have simple, commercial applications is like requiring all reading and writing to be nonfiction or marketing. Sometimes we want and need fiction and poetry. Sometimes math is just pretty (until you’re ready to do physics with it).
— Jenn Broekman (@jsb16) January 30, 2018