After several years of plotting and planning, only one holiday weekend stands between me and my second collegiate experience. That being the case, I thought now was as good a time as any to discuss some changes to Pencils Down.
Up until this point, I have been sharing my own assorted layman's ramblings concerning math education. All that I know has come from either first hand experience as a student or from various books I have found at the local library. Many of my posts have seemed somewhat outlandish, even to me, but they have all stemmed from my sincere belief that math education in this country can be improved. There are still way too many people who cower in fear when presented with even the most vaguely math related conundrum. We can do better.
On Tuesday, I will take one step closer to my goal, and I fully expect that phase transition to manifest itself here. As you know, I will be working full-time while carrying 16 hours my first year. I will be busy to say the least, and many of you have expressed understanding, should the frequency of my posts diminish. I thank you, but I doubt that is going to happen. The primary reason that I began blogging was to get a jump on my own education. I have learned so much already from teachers like Dan, Dave, and IB, that despite my real life instructors, I can't imagine cutting myself off from the free communal knowledge I can get online.
I am, however, going to structure my posts a bit differently. In addition to my random musings, I am going to add two regular weekly elements. Once a week, I am going to give a lesson based on some concept I am covering in school. I want to practice explaining math skills to others and now is as good a time as any to start. Please be critical of them, so that I can learn from your experience. Another weekly theme will be a kind of meta-analysis. While I am in class, I will not only be listening to the teachers, but also studying the other students. I will be in there with a bunch of 18-20 year old kids. This group isn't too much older than the students I plan on teaching, and I feel that a little sociological journaling might help me prepare for my own classroom. I will change names when necessary, but I plan to write once a week about how my younger classmates are responding to the teaching methods of the instructors.
You'll still get a healthy dose of the random; I can hardly help that. But since you've been at my side for the journey so far, I thought I ought to bring you with me on the next step.