So back to the idea of “New Year, New School, New Me”, I want to set forth some goals for the coming year. Plus I was asked to do this for my observation cycle so I might as well double up. Plus this helps me to procrastinate even further on doing ACTUAL work for the school year. So here goes:

1) Find a better work-life balance 


Last year I would be at school until at least 6 most days, then endure my hour long commute only to get home and work another 3-4 hours every night. Five hours of sleep and back at it the next morning. It was awful. In fact, the stress of it caused a spot on my beard to go white (which is now back to normal somehow). Granted it was my first year, and granted it was a shitshow for other reasons, but I’m never doing that again (at least not consistently). Thankfully this year I have planning partners for both of my preps, plus a curriculum for both has already been created, so I’m ahead of the game there. Plus I have a much better sense of what will and won’t work, and my kids are generally higher skilled than my kids last year so I don’t have to try to anticipate every single misconception that has ever been made in the history of math ever. I’ve also gotten much better at the “Any more work on this would not be productive so let’s go with it and remember to improve it for next year” frame of mind. Hopefully this all means I can watch TV and see my boyfriend and sleep normally and maybe even work out occasionally. 

2) Be better about calling home and building relationships with parents

Simpsons - Parent Teacher Conferences


I hate calling home. To be more specific, I hate using the phone at all. I never call my friends and only call my parents because my mother refuses to use technology of any sort beyond her universal remote. But calling parents especially fills me with dread. And not just because I have something bad to say. Even calling to say “Johnny did great today!” scares the crap out of me. But it’s important and it needs to happen and it will probably solve several problems that I have with behavior. So I just need to suck it up and make the call and eventually I’ll just get desensitized to it. 

3) Giving Better Feedback

a.k.a. giving assignments back right away instead of a semester later. Get your shit together, Mattie B.

4) Nixing More Tricks

I don’t remember where I heard it, but somewhere on the #MTBoS I heard someone say that we shouldn’t say FOIL, and instead should refer to it as the Distributive Property (or as that teacher called it, The Claw, which I used every time and my kids always rolled their eyes at). So I decided to do this. It wasn’t until this summer that I realized that was part of the Nix The Tricks campaign going on. But I loved it and I was proud of myself for not relying on that old trick (although of course I used others). 

This year, I’m setting my sights on the idea of “cancelling” when solving equations. And mainly that “Cancelling” as an operation doesn’t make any sense. We use it to describe both dividing to 1 and subtracting to zero, and you can’t really “Undo” cancelling (Are you going to “renew” that 2? Is math now like the tv show Jericho?). I’ll be following Glenn’s rules, using posters that Meg made (shown below).  The goal being to make stronger mathematicians. I’m sure I’ll slip up, but as with any goal, success is a process.  


So that’s all of them. Four is maybe too many, but it’s a long school year and hopefully I’m in a good position.

Now off to make lunch for the week so I can procrastinate some more. 



  1. I think #1 is critical; if you don’t attend to your physical, mental, and emotional health, you can’t withstand the stressors adequately. You probably need to actively *schedule* some time for exercise, R&R, and the BF, and yet do the work on schedule as well, prioritizing what matters most. “Triage!” 🙂

    #2 – Email as much as possible? I much prefer to email (except we have to use a secure portal due to stupid HIPPA regulations) my patients where appropriate – no phone tag, plus there is a clear record of who said what and when. No “he said, she said!”

    Also, re poster – rule #1 – *except* dividing by zero!

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