Saturday, April 26, 2014

Day 1: 30 Posts in 30 Days? That's a Problem to Solve

There I was, minding my own business, just reading my Twitter feed when I see that a fellow teacher I follow retweeted a comment about something with a hashtag #MTBoS30. What could that be, I wondered. It's a 30-day blogging challenge. A new entry every day for 30 days, made for people who can't do the 180-day challenge, which I won't even contemplate at the moment.

Now, is that something that I could do? I think so.

Is that something that I will follow through on? That remains to be seen!

I currently post about 3 times every week. Don't laugh! It's almost true! I try to get 2 or 3 comics posted, and there's always something else of interest (to me) that I post now and then. The question that I should ask, however, is it of interest to you, the reader?

(The unspoken question is: are there any other readers other than me because if not, I'm debating myself and that could be indicative of a problem.)

At the very least, this is a problem to solve. Today's Teachable Moment: And how do we go about solving a problem?

We make a plan!

This is true for word problems or what to teach on Monday's lesson. (There's a reason why it's called a lesson plan after all.)

Break it down into steps. Make a list of topics I'm interested in or can talk about. Make a list and check it twice. Checking is always an important part of solving a problem. So I'll be checking my comments for feedback to see if I'm on the right track with the things I want to about.

There are things I'm good at, and things I'm knowledgeable on. There are things I'm curious about, and things I want to learn better. There are problems from old tests and problems from the classroom. And there are problems in the classroom and other parts of school life which need to be addressed.

All of this is fodder for a column. Along with Martians, vampires, time travel, Game of Thrones and anime, among other things. Hey, I'm a geek. I enjoy that kind of stuff. And that stuff helps solve one problem: connecting with students.

Unlike my last position, where I was lucky to find any geeks other than computer geeks, here there are students with whom I can discuss Doctor Who and Yu-Gi-Oh, if I wanted to. This led to a student this week asking me if I'd be interested in taking over an moderator of the school's new Anime/Manga Club. I was quite thrilled to be asked. Unfortunately, it meets Thursdays and I've agreed to do tutoring after school on Thursdays, starting next week. Also, I don't know if anyone's approached the current moderator about the situation. I don't know many teachers outside of the (very large) math department, and that would be a poor way to make an introduction. (That said, I did try to introduce myself the day of the first meeting but I couldn't seem to get her attention, and she never inquired why a grown man was standing around with all the teenagers.)

That's another problem for another day.

Let's see how many days I can compose relevant material. Or do what I always do: fall back and make a joke instead. Or a comic.

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