Sunday, June 22, 2008


If nothing else, this past year has been one of reflection. Reflection on what I did five minutes ago, five days ago, five months ago, and 25 years ago--and of course how that all influences the way I teach. In yet another bout of reflection, I decided to take a look back at the ways I have developed as a teacher (and a student) over 12 months in STEP. With the help of Wordle, my current favourite website, here is a pictorial representation of my past year, based on important documents I wrote. (click for larger versions)

First, the resume and personal statement that got me into STEP in the first place:

Summer began with writing my "math autobiography". You can see what was--and was not--important to me.

In our "Centralities of Literacies" everything finally clicked when I re-framed math as a means of reading and writing the world. Here, my final reflective journal from the three week class.

In Equity & Democracy, I didn't write anything too earth-shattering, but Ray McDermott's three levels of cultural analysis rocked my world.

Fall brought the five million page case study on one of my students (with the pseudonym Malik):

And my favorite assignment of the year, a deep dive into what it means to assess for conceptual understanding in a math class:

Finally, in Classroom Management I made a first attempt at verbally articulating my teaching philosophies. Worst assignment ever. At least up to this point.

By winter I designed an entire unit plan (guess what it was about?)

And I wrote a grading policy that I could use in the ideal world

Spring brought PACT (Performance Assessment for California Teachers), which topped the classroom management plan as the worst assignment ever. It was long and painful, but it got me my teaching credential.

Finally, I summarized all my reflections over the year in--what else?--a summary reflection. Actually, it does a pretty good job reflecting what I think my year was about.

Obviously, these are all papers and writings on different topics, so it's hard to compare across them. However, I still like the trends I see. In particular, my favorite is the growth of the word "students" throughout the year. I like what this meta-analysis says about the kind of teacher I'm becoming.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Stick a Fork in Me

I guess I'm not quite "well done"--I still have to teach until Thursday, but on Monday I did some printing and CD burning and I was done with all my Stanford coursework. Right now it just feels weird not having anything to do. I'm not sure what to do with myself when there's nothing I should be reading, writing, planning, revising. I guess this is why they invented sleeping, something I feel like I haven't done since last June.