9/10/18: Monday Motivation – Robert Kaplinsky

Every Monday, I will highlight an educator who has inspired me to be better, and this week goes to Robert Kaplinsky.

If you’re a math educator, there’s a very high chance that you know of Robert.

I saw him at CMC South last year and he said something that I think about at least once a week. It was something along the lines of “Well, we were taught procedurally and we came out fine, so why is it important to change how we are teaching?” To be completely honest, I forgot what he said after that and I didn’t write it down in my notes, but I’d like to answer that with “Because our students deserve it.” (Robert, if you’re reading this, I would like to know what you really said).

I love that he emphasizes DOK levels and Open Middle. Those are my go-to’s for low floor, high ceiling activities. I love it so much that I’m making it into a project for my future elementary school teachers. Also, it is awesome that he is giving free live webinars next week! So selfless!

I also love that Robert is really interested in meeting other educators. I’m not going to lie that I freaked out when I saw that he DMed me about going to the CMC South dinner. Fawn tried to ruin it saying that it was a mass DM, but it still counts even if it was a mass DM. =P

I have much more respect for Robert after reading his math story (https://bit.ly/2dDfoNR). It is obvious that he reflects on his past experiences to drive his motivation today. Also, I cannot imagine going through his experiences with math and getting to the point to where he is today, so mad props to him on that. His heart is definitely in the right place. By the way, after reading his math story, I finally understand why he said “You know how marijuana is a gateway drug? Pre-algebra is the gateway to math.” during his talk at CMC South.

Thank you Robert for inspiring and helping many math educators. Your purpose is sincere and you are moving mountains. I hope to be as impactful as you one day. 

Thank you for reading.

One comment

  1. Thank you so much, Howie. I am flattered to read this. I can’t remember exactly what I said for that quote, but when I say something like that I’m trying to articulate what we might be feeling deep down.

    Change is rarely welcome, and often we wonder if changing it from what we experienced is a sign that how we learned wasn’t bad. So, I figure that by voicing these concerns aloud, it makes it easier to have a conversation and move forward into reflecting on what could be.

    Again, it means a lot to me that you took the time to share how what I am doing affects you. It is very validating. Thank you.

    BTW, don’t believe anything Fawn says! 😛

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