About Me

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Melbourne, VIC, Australia
2nd Grade Teacher at a school in Melbourne, Australia. My job: push kids to think. My passion: helping kids to tackle the life-long skill of searching for meaning, skills, answers and more questions.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

10 things I'll miss most about Authentic Inquiry Maths.

An uncanny likeness.  Great for a 97yr old.
Sorry to anyone who has been kind enough to read this little something over the past 9 months.
I've had a bunch of pretty full-on stuff to deal with.
I'm really close to a triumphant return.
There's much work to be done.
Homework is my great adventure.  I intend to set my whole school alight with possibilities.
This place will be my sounding board.

But First:

This post is dedicated to a mate of mine.  A fella who I am indeed honoured to call a mate.
This one goes out to Fezz, The Fezz, Brucey, Bruce Almighty, B-Bomber, B-man, Bruceness. 
You get the picture...

Fezz is the amazing author of AuthenticInquiryMaths.blogspot.com.au
Fezz has been my teaching partner for 12 months in Year 4.
Next year, he is off to inspire others in year 6.  I will miss him.
Fezz has taught me SOOOO much.
Here are the 10 things I will miss about Fezzo.  Along the way, you may feel inspired to check out his incredible blog.  You might also find yourself inspired to tell others what they do that inspires you.

1.  Authentic Inquiry Maths.  No-brainer.  Brucey has turned my unhealthy fear of the mathematical... that subject which I have called my 'Cosmic Shame' for years, into a subject I look forward to learning and teaching about each day.  The other day was the best inquiry maths session of the year and I felt absolutely pumped about it.  Bruce blogged about it, of course, and you should check it out here......  http://authenticinquirymaths.blogspot.com.au/2012/12/find-area-of-leaf.html
From the day before Bruce set up candle clocks directly beneath the fire alarm in his room.  Yep.
Brucey has taken the fear of maths out of my game.  After 12 years of teaching, I can now say that I ACTUALLY CAN TEACH MATHS properly.  I know I CAN, but I also know that I have a long way to go.  Brucey started that journey and many children in the years to come should thank him for that.  Maths will no longer be boring in my classes.  I no longer lose sleep thinking about my Now-Former-Cosmic-Shame.  Thanks so much, Fezz.

2.  The open door.  Fezz has been keen to open the glass door between our classes anytime, anyhow.  He has been a true collaborator.  He offers his insights and his time, but also listens to my world-view with this incredible open-mindedness.  Brucey has what must be now close to one century of classroom experience.  I am honoured that he would share his ideas and even more honoured that he would accept my input with such humility and grace.  Team teaching with Fezz has been genuine and authentic.  There have been hits and misses, but that's SO real.  We've shared the good and the bad and never been too precious to say when it's been not-so-great.  I have summarily blamed Bruce for each and every failure.

May or may not be an unkind likeness of Fezz....
3.  The music.  My thanks to the music man for sharing not only his sizeable talents with the flute, piano, guitar (and I assume the ocarina too) but also for helping me to learn a few choice songs for our chapel services.  He then showed me how to give the kids even more power by letting them in on our music for chapels.  Amazeballs.  Sooo good and something I will strive for in the years to come.  I hope that we play many Chapels together in the years to come.  It has been a great opportunity.  I would ask that he incorporate less B chords and F# chords in future.  I'm simply a punk guitarist and drummer with not-that-many-skills.

4.  Awesome ties.  My tie challenge for the year is over.  I have made it - only with the help of a man called Fezz.  The B-Bomber loaned me many many ties over the course of the year.  He shared my joy for ties and his storage room for the housing of the silken bounty.  B-Man loaned me ties for specific occasions and he did so with a smile and great humour.  I will happily dig out some of the more offensive 'grandpa ties' to return to Brucey.  I may or may not 'find' some of the more awesome ones.....  Who knows?

5.  Maths is every-freakin-where.  Brucey has the ability to find maths in every freakin corner of the day.  He is able to spot a pattern from 50ft away, behind plexiglass or lead sheets.  He is able to pull out bizarre relationships between numbers when we are only spelling the word, 'numbers'.  Bruce looks for ways to make problems easier.  He does this with Maths - which seemed counter-productive to me at first.  Alas, he persevered and eventually showed me that there really is Maths every-freakin-where!  Great job, Mathlete.

I can neither confirm nor deny if Bruce has this tattoo...
6.  Wednesdays.  Yes, Bruce.  You win. 
I will forever pronounce it WeD nds Day from now on.  His persistence and good humour has taken the day.  I will pronounce the Queen's English far better than her loyal subjects in London, Liverpool or either Newcastle (NSW or Upon Tyne)
It is still most certainly 'Feb U ary'  and 'Li Bry'     Deal with it, Ferrington.

7.  Elton John.  Blaring at 7:45am while I try to get ready for my day.  Did I mind?  Heck no.  I will miss the music and the storyline of the year when Fezz saw Sir Elton in concert for the first time after what must have been 60 or so years of adoration from afar.  The passion for a good -if acid induced- tune, will be missed.  I hope we can spin some vinyls again sometime soon, Fezz.

8.  The tidy desk.  I know who has just re-claimed that desk next to me in the staffroom.  Oh man.
Thanks for the 12 months of maybe not being eaten alive by piles of papers and books.  I've appreciated the space.  So long to that idea now!     sorry Scroopeness  ;)

9.  The BLOGGING!  Brucey has been the consummate blogger.  He has blogged relentlessly about the universe of Authentic Inquiry Maths and he has shared his love of a good blog post with me.  We began the journey together and we will be racing to 20,000 views still.  My last three months haven't helped my cause, but he is the sort of bloke who will advertise other blog posts just because he thinks they're worth sharing.  I am 99% sure he never read the Twitter For Dummies book he was given, but he is an incredibly generous tweeter and blog commenter.  I know this will continue.  I will miss the random moments when he walks into my room to write 10,000 on my board and walk out again.
Yep... He wears dark frames and slightly opaque cardigan-styled jumpers.

10.  The encouragement.   Bruceness has shared his encouraging words so naturally that he doesn't even realise the impact that he is having on those around him.  His respect for the teaching profession makes him a hard task-master on himself.  He is far less judging of others and I have been IMMENSELY lucky about that.  In the past 4 months of crazeeeee in my world, the Fezz has been there to simply listen, and to encourage me to press on.  He has encouraged my hairball ideas, jumped on the Home Learning bandwagon early, helped me, shoved me in the right directions, backed my plans, told me that I can do it and given me tools to help me do just that.  The guy is a guru (whether he wants me to ever use that term or not) and he has offered mateship along with a healthy dose of wisdom and encouragement. 

As you can see, if you are anyone but Fezz to reach the end of this post, I have the highest of professional and personal regard for this bloke called The Bruce.  I wish him all the best as he ventures off to Year 6 and I hope that sometime soon we can fulfill our bosses dreams and team teach in Kindy together.  Think about it, Fezz.  All I ask is that you THINK about it.

I return later in the week (I hope) with a rundown of Home Learning.
Stay tuned.

Thanks Fezz.


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