It was September of last year when Marian Dingle (@DingleTeach) first brought the Global Math Department Newsletter to my attention and being the exceptional educator she is, she sparked an idea and waited patiently for it to ignite my passion. It wasn’t until seven months later she highlighted my first blog post on my experience as a first-time attendee at NCTM 2019 in San Diego and I started to contribute to the GMD Newsletter.
This is my last post for the school year and I must thank Matthew Oldridge (@MatthewOldridge) for passing the baton and sharing this opportunity with me. I appreciate Nate Goza (@thegozaway) for connecting with me and inviting my thoughts and reflections into this new virtual space.
This week, I am highlighting the #ClearTheAir and #BreakRank chat that Christie Nold (@ChristieNold) and Scott Bayer (@Lyricalswordz) hosted on Wednesday, June 5, 2019 in which they discussed “Racism, whiteness, and burnout in antiracism movements: How white racial justice activists elevate burnout in racial justice activists of color in the United States” by Paul Gorski (@PGorski) and Noura Erakat (@4Noura).
Specifically, I draw your attention to a few sub-threads within this chat and invite you to review them with a focus on how crucial these conversations are to the intentional design of mathematical learning spaces.
Let us start with a sub-thread featuring JoyAnn Boudreau (@MrsBoudreau) in which participants discuss setting norms in professional learning spaces with fellow mathematics educators as well as co-constructing them in mathematics classes with our students. The prevailing topics are presuming positive intention, tone policing, a right way to do things, and individual personality traits that hinder our work.
Alice Jane Grimm (@Alice_J_Grimm) beautifully articulated a brief sub-thread about mandatory gender pronoun introductions that I have bookmarked so I may return to it again when next I plan professional learning for colleagues or classroom introductions for students.
Alecia Ford (@AleciaHiggFord) shared a brain break game she has used successfully with her students that creates space to talk openly about race and identity while developing fluency with fractions.
Some of us are settling into summer break routines and slowly shedding layers of this school year’s experiences and others of us are preparing to wrap up the school year with a final perseverance. Let our reflections and forward planning include how we intentionally establish psychological safety for students and colleagues to be and learn in mathematical spaces. Let the goal be to thrive not just survive. (Shout out to Bettina Love.)
As Val Brown (@ValeriaBrownEdu) stated at a Teaching Tolerance workshop in February, “This is your homework. For the rest of your life.”
Thank you for reading and engaging,
Hema Khodai (@HKhodai)