Following Danielson’s advice: "Find What You Love… Do More Of That…"

My last blog post was almost a year ago. If you don’t remember it (or more likely didn’t read it), give it a once over so the rest of this makes sense.

Danielson’s words haven’t just been ringing in my ears since his TMC15 keynote. They have been haunting my soul to return to my love: middle school.

This isn’t going to be a well thought out blog post (sorry, not sorry) because I can’t keep this a secret anymore:
I’m going back to the classroom in about a week to teach 8th grade!

This may be a surprise to a lot of people, but lemme explain:

REASON #1: The Kid.

A few weeks ago, I got a text from my 13-year old:

Don’t say anything and don’t ask right now, but there will be a job opening at my school and I want you to apply for it. I’ll explain this afternoon.

Also, don’t text me back, I’m texting from the bathroom.

[Sidenote: EW, just… EW.]

His teacher got an admin school in a neighboring state. I wondered if my kid really understood the ramifications of having his mom in the same building. The conversation on the way home that day went something like this:

Me: I would have to change your schedule so you can be in the other class with Ms. Watson.
Mike: No. I want YOU to be my teacher.
Me: Wait, WUT? You ADORE Ms. Watson.
Him: I know… I just want you as my teacher.
Me: …are you sure you know what you’re asking?
Him: Yes.
Me: …you know I don’t play in the classroom – being my kid doesn’t exempt you from that
Him: I know.
Me: **still confused** so WHY would you put yourself through that?
Him: Your students have told me how awesome you are in the classroom MY WHOLE LIFE. I want to have that for myself. I want to be in YOUR class.

**bursts into tears**

I don’t cry often, but let me assure you: I AM AN UGLY CRIER. My child has never complained or asked me for anything related to all the CRAP he’s put up with during my career: long absences for conferences, crazy schedules with archery coaching, long nights locked in my office working, going off to watch games and performances of current and former students all over the place… And that’s just what little I can remember.

Through all of that, he’s never asked me for a single thing – until now.


That incredible request from my child was also paired with the overwhelming #MTBoSJealousy I’ve had the past 3+ years.
Do you people KNOW how difficult it is to read the AMAZING blogs you post and NOT be jealous??? Don’t even get me started.

I miss the days when I could say, “I did a thing today! Here’s what happened, here’s what rocked and where I think I could improve. How ELSE could I improve the thing? And by the way – if you use this thing, let me know how it went!” I miss being able to write and reflect in my A.D.D. style that most people couldn’t tolerate. I miss the days when I had something to contribute to #MTBoS instead of feeling like a thief.

REASON #3: The School.

I cannot say enough about the leadership and the faculty of this school. I can’t enter the building without feeling an energy and positivity about learning that is hard to describe. I feel the need to obnoxiously high five each teacher and student when I visit the campus. The teachers have always made me excited to bring them new ideas because of their passion for teaching their students. I am completely honored to have the opportunity to work with and learn from one of the best math PLC’s I’ve ever seen AND I get to teach next door to the incredible Cononiah Watson!! (Most of you have seen her around #msmathchat.) I also get to work for an administrator whose vision for students and learning aligns 100% with my own. He will push me to be a better teacher than I ever knew I could be, but that comes with a huge amount of trust and support for my vision to make mathematics accessible for EVERY STUDENT.

TEACHING MIDDLE SCHOOL ROCKS. I miss the middle school classroom more than I have words to express. Maybe it’s the age, maybe it’s my humor, maybe it’s the height similarity… But I love middle school kids. As a math coach, each day I have the opportunity to work with kids is a fantastic day for me. It’s what I love and what I truly feel I’m meant to do.

Did I mention I get to coach MathCounts AND archery again??? **SWOON**

So that’s my news.

I’m excited, I’m extremely happy, and I can’t wait to share what happens in this room with you…

Once Mr. Bunnell gives me the keys, haha.


23 thoughts on “Following Danielson’s advice: "Find What You Love… Do More Of That…"

  1. YAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I am so happy for you! And for your kid! Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Elizabeth (@cheesemonkeysf)


  2. Congrats! It sounds like you're going to have an awesome year! I teach my son too. I was a little nervous, but I absolutely love it. I feel the pressure is even heavier, but it feels like a gift to watch him learn. Enjoy!


  3. Hurray!!!! Best news I've heard in a couple of weeks!


  4. Excited to hear your news, and excited for the students headed my way in the future!


  5. Great, now I'm the SECOND coolest MS Math Teacher in the MTBoS 🙂

    Congrats Hedge — you're gonna kill it!!


  6. That's some great news! I can tell by your excitement in your post that you made the right choice. Have an amazing year!


  7. This is awesome! Have fun with it!


  8. Sharing my classroom with my sons was amazingly wonderful for all of us. Savor every moment.


  9. Sharing my classroom with my sons was amazingly wonderful for all of us. Savor every moment.


  10. This is the most awesome thing I've read in a long time! You and your kid will have an amazing experience to share. I am so happy, happy, happy for you! YAY!


  11. This news is so wonderful! And what your son said made me cry too. Freakin Awesome. I'm so happy for you!! (I teach middle school too,)


  12. So thrilled for you! Congratulations!


  13. So thrilled for you! Congratulations!


  14. I'm dying. This post has everything.


  15. So so SO happy I get to teach beside you. You don't even know!


  16. Awesome!
    Just in time for the Walking Dead season premier. Will you have a chance to try out your (and John's) Zombie activity?


  17. Hello! This post was recommended for The Best of the Math Teacher Blogs 2016: a collection of people's favorite blog posts of the year. We would like to publish an edited volume of the posts at the end of the year and use the money raised toward a scholarship for TMC. Please let us know by responding via whether or not you grant us permission to include your post. Thank you, Tina and Lani.


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