7/9/18: Monday Motivation: Jamie Garner

Every Monday, I’m going to highlight one educator that has motivated me to become a better educator and my first Monday Motivation goes to…Jamie Garner! I’ve met Jamie twice, once at CMC Central 2017 in Arroyo Grande and again just yesterday when we met up in Turlock. Just because we met twice doesn’t mean that her impact was small; here are just some ways she helped me become a better educator:

Getting a Twitter

Jamie Garner, along with Chrissy Newell, were the first presenters I ever saw in a breakout session. I met them Spring of 2017 at CMC Central in Arroyo Grande. At the end of Jamie’s portion, she stated to get on Twitter, because it’s a world that we are missing out on if we don’t have one. I made a Twitter but didn’t really do anything with it until then, so who knows if I’d be on Twitter if I didn’t go to her talk.

Notice/Wonder

When we were walking around CSU Stanislaus yesterday, I noticed that she naturally said “I notice…” and “I wonder…” constantly, and it really showed me that people have a different lense of how they view the world, and hers is definitely a mathematician’s view of the world. Ever since I’ve seen #noticewonder on Twitter, I’ve been doing it way more often, and I strongly believe that it makes me more curious and it makes me think more like a mathematician.

Confidence

I have self-consciousness/impostor syndrome issues: I don’t think I have new or awesome ideas to share and most of the time, it feels like I’m preaching to the choir. Jamie does a great job of battling that, showing that yeah, my ideas are valuable and could contribute to the math ed community. A month or two ago, I tweeted out asking when teachers felt that they were “ready” to present at conferences and I remember she tweeted saying that I do “presentations” to pre-service teachers all the time, it’s not that much of a stretch to present in front of current teachers, and that shift of mindset definitely made me feel more confident in willing to speak at conferences.

Jamie is a great person to talk to. Super knowledgeable, down to Earth, and just simply understands people’s viewpoints really well. She didn’t directly say it, but throughout the time we spent together, it had the theme of “You are enough“:  making me have the confidence to present, reiterating that my ideas are valuable, and showing that no one is perfect and that is okay. That moral alone goes an extremely long way.

Jamie necessarily didn’t “push” me, but rather, “unveiled” possibilities for me, and I think that’s a beautiful thing. Unveiling Twitter as a resource, unveiling the idea that I can contribute to the community, unveiling that fog that is my lack of self-confidence.

Thanks for being my Monday Motivation Jamie!

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