I cannot blog about teaching math for another minute without mentioning that the single most exciting event in my entire career is less than a month away.
Before I tell you what that is, let me take you back 2 1/2 years . . . The small midwestern town where I teach was struck by a tornado. The high school, middle school, and elementary school, along with many homes and businesses, were destroyed. It was devastating. I don't live in town, but I could tell you what it was like to meet security on the edge of town and convince them that I desperately needed to check the status of my classroom. I will never forget the first glimpse of my school -- partially standing and partially in rubble. The staff worked together to salvage whatever we could. Thankfully, my files and teaching supplies were locked in a cabinet that was unharmed. Never mind that I had to dodge broken glass and rubble to get to them. Many other items were saved as well.
Items that we salvaged were stored for the summer while temporary facilities were put in place. My trailer classroom arrived just days before the first day of school. Miraculously, we started school on time, with modular classrooms dotting the blocks surrounding the demolished school. Our students braved rain, wind, snow, cold, and heat as they walked the blocks from class to class, and stayed amazingly positive through it all. We missed the things we used to take for granted -- like hallways, lockers, a teacher's workroom, proximity to our colleagues. But we survived!
And now, through the window of my trailer classroom, I can see a beautiful new school. Almost finished. We move in on January 5th. I am so excited to walk down a hallway, to eat lunch in a cafeteria, and to have assemblies in an auditorium, thinking about it almost brings tears to my eyes.
Time to finish packing!