We have two young teachers in our department. Both C and B (pseudomyn seem to be a good idea) are in their second year. It’s been fun to see their passion and work ethic – it’s inspired everyone around them. They always jump in, they are always making new things, they are finding new ways to do math in the classroom. Loved those days of being young and throwing yourself head first into things.
Having a family really cramps your teaching mojo in some ways. Don’t get me wrong. It definitely enhances it too. Just ask my students how I relate EVERYTHING about math to relationships – using the Bachelor as analogy for the Rational Root Theorem was probably my favorite as of late. But there are times when I would love to things at school that family commitments prevent and my mind wanders to sermons I’ve heard on 1 Corinthians 7 that talks about the gift of singleness, about being able to do more in ministry. Same is true of teaching.
And that’s the benefit of having new young blood in your department or school. They jump in. They are excited about new things. They are overly optimistic. And they rub off on you.
A more public example of this is math teacher names Sarah Hagan who is a third year teacher in Oklahoma. She blogs about her teaching experience quite a bit at Math Equals Love. What works, what doesn’t, what’s frustrating, what’s hilarious (check out her posts on Things Teenagers Say – waiting for a book :)).
So while I can’t ship you C and B, you can get loads of ideas and inspiration at Math Equals Love. Definitely work a look. Sarah’s How to Learn Math bulletin board alone will give you a kick in the pants. I’ve been doing Objectives Based Grading for ten years and this is the perfect way to lay it out.