Well, here at Twitter Math Camp (#TMC15), this happened today:
Personally, I am thrilled for my good friends at The Math Forum, who have contributed so much to our extensive worldwide professional learning community. But I also want to witness what a milestone it is for TMC that this is the venue at which the merger was announced.
Five years ago, we were a positive but isolated group of individuals connected by Twitter and by our math teaching blogs. Today, our little conference was the platform for an important piece of news in the math education world.
I have said this before — TMC and the MTBoS (the Math Twitter Blog-o-Sphere) are not a flash in the pan. They represent a paradigm shift. We are a movement.
They and The Math Forum are living proof that the "market" does not want what focus groups or policy committees think is the safest generic middle course to follow.
They are proof that what is needed — desperately needed — is a community of individuals committed to embodying a better and more sustainable set of principles in our teaching practice and in our professional development lives:
- Honor the actual work of mathematics teaching that is going on every day — not some sanitized generic ideal that is so removed from reality it cannot be valued.
- Step forward and be that community you wish you could find. As the great psychoanalyst and cantadora Clarissa Pinkola Estès has written, "if you build that community, people will mysteriously show up, announcing that this is exactly what they have been looking for all along."
- Witness and celebrate each other's amazing accomplishments in the classroom, even though the power structure and outside forces refuse to accept the good that we do every day. Cheer each other on. This is about "growing up" as a profession and as a community and accepting that true grown-ups do not wait for permission to do what they know what needs to be done. True grown-ups see what needs to be done and say, "Oh, I see. I'll do it."
- Recognize that this is a movement — and that a movement is what is needed. We have serious problems, but we have phenomenal capacity to respond to what needs to be done. It is easy to stop a few people, but it is impossible to stop a thousand. Remember the motto of #OtterNation:
- Don't take "no" for an answer. As @TrianglemanCSD said in his keynote address today, "Find what you love, and do more of it in your classroom."