It is hard for me to wrap my head around the call for #MTBoS reflections for the year, but when Jennifer Fairbanks asks, I do. 

Why is it hard? Because I am in Slovenia, having had 7 days of biking, hiking, rafting, swimming, running, and International School Interviewing, that's why! Please put this amazing country on your list!
Piran, Slovenia, Seaport, Adriatic 

I don't get that much attention on Twitter, but I did when I posted this:
It was a pleasure to reflect on what I did that makes me smile. I connected with students, I worked closely with colleagues and I spread the MTBoS gospel at the CPM National Conference in San Francisco in February. 

It was tough year emotionally for the students. On October 7th or 8th, wildfires spread throughout our area, burning over 6000 structures. School was closed for two weeks, as students, doctors, teachers, and caregivers were displaced, lost homes, and evacuated. Our school's gym was a Red Cross housing/crisis center. 1 in 5 doctors at our Santa Rosa Kaiser Medical Center lost a home. The air quality was horrible. Anyone not evacuated was housing friends and relatives and helping at shelters and feeding the hundreds of volunteer and emergency workers. No one is the same. EVERY time you open your medicine cabinet, your closet, your pantry, you just ask, "What does this look like, feel like, smell like when it melts together? What does that loss like?" No one knew how long the crisis would last so no plans could be made. Immediately we all combed through our belongings, making piles to donate to victims, putting together a single box labelled, "take this in case of an emergency." 

And our current presidential administration's war on humanity has many of the students scared and feeling uncertain. That has taken it's toll too. The racism and fear and suffering is heavy for students and us teachers trying to find the truth in telling our students who are undocumented or have a family member that is, that all will be okay. 

Trying to teach in these circumstances has been challenging. Add in the complete abuse of vaping (both tobacco and pot), a parking lot with 400 cars that is not being monitored with enough adult power and a school suffering a budget crisis (no raise in 5 years, health care costs increasing, not being able to recruit or retain talent, and getting further and further behind in tech) and you would think you have a complete disaster. 

And it isn't. In these times, I must emphasize art, and creativity, and relationships, and belonging the best I can within the context of teaching math. I have to believe that what I teach is important and make it have meaning. That is my job. 

The MTBoS (MathTwitterBlogosphere) has been invaluable in keeping me centered. The inspiration, support, and feedback have provided me with the energy and momentum to keep moving forward. My desire to own my white privilege has led to hard questions and loving responses, my desire to make it real and make it stick has helped me grow and keep pushing my comfort zone.  And so...back to math...

Our first year teaching Integrated Math 2 went well. The team was tight and mostly on the same page. My colleague, Danielle and I, in particular,  brought out the best we had to offer, bouncing creatively and organizationally off of each other. My Senior Math Class collapsed a bit. I am way too empathetic to their crazy schedules, and all the other stuff above. AND they would say they learned a lot, (not necessarily all math) and I would say 90% of them tested directly into a college level math class! 

Oh and my BTSA mentee became a clear credential holder! (And my former BTSA mentee became Rotary teacher of the year)

Next year means it my turn again to be Department Chair, in a year where we are deciding for reals about Integrated vs Traditional curricula and CPM vs. ????? I will continue to push my colleagues to examine if they have missed anyone's perspective and do their classrooms and curriculum include their student's voices. 

I will miss my fourth TMC and will live vicariously through you and my hope is that my spot went to a first time attendee. 

Know dear community, that I am here for you.