I just started taking the last of my classes to obtain a Certificate in Math Leadership. The name of the class is The Art of Math Coaching and Supervision. I was offered the opportunity to “design” the course so I had some ownership over the work I did. I asked if I could use my blog as a platform for reflection, instead of writing papers. The six blog posts are supposed to “Set the Stage – Describe relationships I have as a K-12 math leader to advance student performance in mathematics.”

The first blog post I wrote, Limits, was about me being vulnerable. I set the stage. I peeled back layer after layer of the shame and frustration that has accumulated over the 20 years of my formal math instruction and exposed the mathematician in me. The mathematician who didn’t know the answer, but wanted to. I thought the message was obvious; being a math coach means admitting what you don’t know.

My professors thought the blog post was written by one of the teachers that I work with. They said she showed a lot of reflection. They said my blog posts fulfilled some of the “setting the stage” assignment, but they asked me to write a 1-2 page paper describing my professional relationships with other people in my district. They said the 1-2 page paper would show “how math coaches/specialists become a part of the school culture.”

I can’t help but wonder, why didn’t they think I wrote that blog post?

I hope I have supported the teachers I work with to admit what they don’t know and learn a tremendous amount **with** me and that is the culture that I hope to cultivate in math class.

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I have been fortunate to have learned with you and from you. Your willingness to be humble and take risks inspires those of us around you to become better mathematicians and teachers. Keep helping us all strive for growth through vulnerability.

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