Just like Chance the gardener …

I like to watch … good teaching, that is.  Today I had the pleasure and privilege of attending the first of a four-part workshop on teaching math in GED classes.  I signed up as soon as I heard about it (how not, given my continuing terror of teaching math!).  I had started to get a bit of a stomach ache about it as today approached, and I almost didn’t go this afternoon, kept doing things that would ensure that I wouldn’t be able to go.  But finally I forced myself out of the office and down to the subway.

So happy I did.  Today was an overview of what the rest of the series is going to be, but we got to do some math and work through some activities.  The man who led the workshop is someone I’ve known marginally for a couple of years.  I haven’t seen him in ages, and wasn’t sure he’d even remember me, but he did and seemed pleased to see me there.  Never mind all that, though.  The important thing is … he is an incredible instructor.  He made the information accessible even to a math-phobe like me, even to the point of discouraging the math-whiz-kids from using all their math-lingo and talking in real words that everyone could understand.

Today we didn’t get into the nitty gritty of anything, but I’ve already learned so much, saw so many ways that my anxieties might be affecting the way I present material in class, ways my questioning technique could improve, ways to get math out of the text book and into people’s hands, into the real world.  I cannot wait to get to next week’s class!


Still on the poetry month wagon.  Today’s tanka wrote itself as I stood yawning at the bus stop this morning:

Thursday Morning Tanka

Drizzle-mist morning
sleepy, silent, puffy-eyed
my neighbors and me
still dreaming, at the bus stop
catching the early ride down.

Is this going to be a month of tanka?  I suppose it could be, but it seems doubtful I can sustain such a specialized effort.


4 thoughts on “Just like Chance the gardener …

  1. juliebrock

    The form is working for you. Dig the misty morning mixed with the foggy, groggy neighbors – all still waking, all still on auto pilot.


    1. Yeah, my neighbors and I are a sleepy little clique in the mornings, especially the group that’s out for what I call the early-early bus. The little kids are the cutest and the most heart-rending with their sleep-puffy faces, looking a little dazed at the idea of being up and dressed and out on the street.


  2. you better keep ’em coming when they’re this good! great teaching is electric, right? your brain makes connections, the synapse (sp?) lets off a little charge, and the energy in the room starts to change…


    1. Thanks, Zetta! Great teaching is such a thrill. I still can’t get over how wonderful that workshop was. And everyone in the room seemed to be feeling it as strongly as I was. Before the workshop started, we seemed kind of reluctant, kind of wary. As soon as things got started, everyone was totally engaged. I was very gushy on the evaluation form, which makes me blush a little, but such skill should be acknowledged.


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