Monthly Archives: October 2018

10/8/18: Monday Motivation – Elissa Miller

Every Monday, I will highlight someone who has motivated me to become a better educator and this week goes to Elissa Miller!

I listened to Elissa’s Global Math Project talk and I loved her idea of “Two Nice Things.” If you are unfamiliar with it, the rule is, whenever you say something negative to another person, you have to immediately follow it up with saying two nice things about that person.

What struck me was when she said that this rule pertains to yourself as well. If you say something bad about yourself, you have to say two nice things about yourself too and I love that. I have problems with self worth and doing this for the past week outside of the classroom made me happier with who I am.

I told all of my students this idea, so Elissa, you’re popular to all 180 of my students, and I hope that they will bring your idea to their classrooms.

Above all else, it is important for students to see that they are valuable, and Elissa is doing a great job providing an environment for her students to see that for themselves. I intend to focus more on this idea this semester. Thank you for being my motivation Elissa!

10/1/18: Monday Motivation – Diana Herrington

Every Monday, I will highlight one person who has motivated me to become a better educator and this week goes to Diana Herrington.

Diana unfortunately passed away May 17, 2018 but I am forever grateful that I had the opportunity to co-teach classes with her for a year during my master’s program. She completely opened my mind to what a math classroom could look like.

Here are just a few ways she has helped me:

  • She introduced me to Jo Boaler’s Mathematical Mindsets
  • She really pushed the idea that the process is just as important as the final answer
  • She gave me the idea that students should be able to buy back points for assessments
  • She showed me how to use tech effectively in the classroom
  • She came up with the “5 minutes of discussing” before tests
  • She had projects that really looked for math outside of the classroom
  • She had the idea of having students do Digital Portfolios to really show off what they learned throughout the semester
  • She taught me to bring real-world objects into the classroom. Ex: We brought in pine cones, tree branches, shells, etc. when we were discovering the Fibonacci sequence.
  • She showed that there should be personal stories behind your math exercises.

I learned so much in that one year of co-teaching with her. After I graduated from the master’s program, we still shared the same office and collaborated even more. What I love about her was that she never pulled the experience card. She has worked in a high school setting for over 30 years, but she was open to suggestions from a newer teacher like me. I loved that she was always learning to improve, even after all her experience.

She was so selfless too. She bought SO many items for her students and even gave away $1,000 a year to students who used mathematical modeling in their Science Fair project through the M-power award.

There are too many wonderful things to say about Diana so I’ll split them up into separate blog posts.

I am the educator I am because of Diana Herrington. Just like Sir Issac Newton said, “If I have seen further it is by standing on ye shoulders of Giants.” Diana was, and will always be, my Giant.

Thank you for reading.