On not blogging.

I’m not blogging because I’m not teaching. Not well anyway, which is enough shame to keep me from poking my head up around here. It’s not burnout and it isn’t laziness. Spring break was good to me and I’ve jumped back in with the same workaholic, 07h00-to-00h30 schedule.

My efforts at good planning are going wasted though. I’m making rookie mistakes like overestimating time-on-task, finishing lessons early, and spinning my wheels lamely until the bell rings. I’m under-scaffolding, under-engaging, just plain under-teaching my students. It’s embarrassing, that’s what it is. I’m not sure what’s up or how I’m going to get my mojo back, but I don’t think it’s gonna happen while blogging about it.

I'm Dan and this is my blog. I'm a former high school math teacher and current head of teaching at Desmos. He / him. More here.


  1. Sheesh – I’m glad to know you’re human and have an off day now and then. That said, suck it up and quit crying! The more time you spend worrying about this the more likely you are to get in a rut with it. Do something completely out of character for a day, back off and look at it from a different perspective. Maybe the concept you’re teaching right now is just a little more difficult to grasp. I don’t really know the answer but you are too good to wallow for long. I’m sending you all kinds of good juju over the blogging waves – you’ll be back ON any minute!

  2. Thanks, Dee. I’ve been trying to stay on the right side of introspection and wallowing but I might need to pursue a different tack entirely. It’s the weekend. I’ll see what the track does for me.

  3. I sure hope you get back on track soon, because the recent drought is making it tough on those of us trying to plagiarize your methods. Seriously man, can you stop thinking of yourself for two seconds. Geez!

  4. That’s the thing, right? The peaks and valleys of a school year, or even a… um, career. They way you cycle through fire and ice, at times barely able to walk through the general 1-2-3-4 of teaching class, never mind differentiating, never mind that new hook, that unusual assessment.

    In teaching, you have to reinvent the wheel. The assignments, approaches, projects that broke me out of a funk last year, this year caused the funk, lengthened it. Three years ago the Honors Society Assemblies invoked tears; now they’re a pain in the ass. What’s new? What’s new? What’s new?

  5. TMAO — I love your question. What’s new..what’s new?

    One of the dichotomies I find myself stuck in sometimes is that I like teaching because I like some of the routine and I get tired of it because I don’t like routine.

    One of the really great things about teaching is the power we have to reinvent our jobs and our teaching by just rethinking a lesson, re-engaging with it, etc. There’s not a dictate as to how we cover the information, so we are free to create new ways to interact with students. On the other hand, sometimes it is very difficult to really approach something you’ve done before from a fresh perspective.

    I know in my own role(I’m a high school librarian now), I like reading outside of my field in business magazines, or looking at college websites or dot.com sites, just to “break out” of my “school” thinking. It seems like it always refreshes me and helps me come at things from an angle I hadn’t thought about before.

    Sorry to ramble on…good luck with your “drought”. I hope a refreshing spring rain falls soon.