One Good Thing

This is my first blogpost and is inspired by the loose conglomeration of people known as the #MTBoS (mathstwitterblogosphere). This is part of their “2016 Blogging Initiative”, where people are encouraged to blog once a week for 4 weeks. Easy right?

Well, this first post was due 11 days ago, and my yet to be started second post was due 3 days ago. I’m probably deserving of a detention at this point…

Unlike my students though, I have a good excuse! Read my debut blogpost below, to find out more.


First up, what’s my excuse?

I’m Australian. Now that’s not an excuse in and of itself, although we are a nation of convicts, so there’s that. No, being an australian means having a 7 week holiday starting in December and finishing in late January. I find it difficult to blog about education while I’m sipping drinks from coconuts on islands off the coast of Thailand.


So now that school is back (students come back tomorrow officially) what’s my one good thing that’s happened recently?

Before I get to it, here’s a riddle for you:
If a teacher eats only vegan food, stays fit doing CrossFit, and Flips their Classroom, which will they tell you about first?

Well, I love a steak and CrossFit scares me, but if you get too close I’ll almost certainly talk your ear off about The Flipped Classroom(so important it gets capital letters). I’ve been doing it for 2 years now and no doubt I will tell you all about how awesome it is in future blogposts.

Being our school’s resident EdTechEnthusiast, I kicked off this year by running a little PD session on various EdTech tools that teachers can use. I didn’t pass up this golden opportunity to talk about The Flipped Classroom, Geogebra, Google Classroom and a whole host of other neat tech.

Now, lets talk about a guy in my staffroom who came to the session. We’ll call him “The Veteran”.

The Veteran remembers life before computers, photocopiers and calculators. He’s exactly 2 years from retirement and has taught more classes than I’ve had hot dinners. He’s what I’d call a “gunslinger”, entering the classroom confident he can teach anything with 1 whiteboard marker in his holster.

The day after my EdTech PD session, The Veteran pulls me aside and whispers, “can you show me this geogebra thing, I reckon it sounds pretty good.” I think he’s whispering because he’s worried others might hear he’s been converted to using these horrible computers and doesn’t want to ruin his rep.

So I happily run him through a few things and he gets the hang of it pretty quickly. He starts getting excited about how he can use it to teach function transformations and how much better it will be.

After we’re finished with geogebra, he’s got just one more question…

“Do you think you could show me how to make those videos? I think I want to flip my classroom?”

We’re meeting up on the weekend to make a few videos and do nerdy maths stuff.

So what’s my “One Good Thing”?

As teachers we talk a lot about Lifelong Learners. I feel very privileged to share a staffroom with a real walking, talking, teaching example of it. I only hope I can remain as passionate as he has for as long as he has.


One comment

  1. Welcome back Joel,
    Boy I wish I was sipping drinks right about now in this -8 degree weather! I was all smiles after reading the ending of your post. It feels good to help a fellow teacher out in ways we think are valuable. I’ve still got a few veterans in my dept that I hope deep down still have you veterans drive and passion. Great first post.

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