About 
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.

28 Comments

  1. Congrats! Jose, you’re so right…it’s very Jazzy Jeff-y.

    How many takes did it take to get that perfect paper-flying-manbag-swinging look?

  2. Congratulations, Dan.

    I’m wondering so I have to ask. Did your students have any thoughts about your leaving their school? Did they reflect on your teaching methods since your instructional methods are so unique and they probably will never encounter anything like them again?

    Inquiring minds want to know

  3. Nah. I mean, we all patted each other on the back as this thing wound down but nothing explicitly related to teaching or learning. I mean, c’mon, it’s June.

    Except, okay, there was this one particularly painful moment, which I swore I’d never blog, though maybe the comments are cool.

    One of the two smartest kids in remedial Algebra — the sort of kid you wish wasn’t in remedial Algebra even though you’re really glad she’s in your remedial Algebra, you know? — came up to me after I first announced I was leaving. She came up all melodramatic and jokey.

    “Mr. Dan, I can’t believe you’re going. I’m gonna cry.”

    I was walking around, cleaning up, and tossed off my standard “Cougar to death” recitation: “Yeah, I know. Way sad, right? I’m gonna miss this place.”

    But then she told me to quit moving around. “You don’t understand,” she said. And then she started crying. A couple of quick, loud sobs which she sucked back in as fast as she could.

    “I can’t learn math from anyone but you. What am I gonna do after you go?”

    This is because someone in her lineup of former math teachers convinced her, at some crucial moment, that she was dumb, that she would never understand math, a sentence which she’d serve all the way up until my class, where, upon experiencing the slightest acts of patience and encouragement, became the student she always was. Someone’s gotta get penalized, smacked in the face with a frying pan over this.

    She ran out of my class saying she “felt like an idiot,” which is exactly the problem I’m talking about here.

  4. One of the biggest obstacles I’ve found I have to overcome when working with kids who have been taught to think they can’t is dependency. That’s a tough one. I need to be more than a teacher with novel ways of thinking and learning, I need to teach my kids that they can do it with or without me.

    Congrats on the end of the year!

  5. Right, the pendulum may have swung too far in the opposite direction, in my student’s case. She’s no longer averse to her teacher. But now she’s dependent.

  6. Dependent? Perhaps. Perhaps too she has learned that she can learn math. Hopefully she has learned what she needs in order to be successful and can advocate for that in the future.

    Maybe.

  7. I hope she reads what you wrote about her here.

    Some of my students from last year e-mailed me math questions last fall, when they were stuck in their new courses. Not that they’d never had a decent math teacher before me, I mean – the point is that you shouldn’t be surprised if this student or other of your students will stay in touch. You may have a chance to remind her of things she did that helped her master new material.

  8. @Kris, I resigned my job in March and have been job-searching since. A lot of stuff will either fall into or out of place this coming Wednesday.

  9. Mr. Meyer, that is an amzing picture! Good thing that I read the comments because I actually thought that you did that!!!
    But I wouldn’t be that surprised if you actually had.

  10. Emily: It’s important to realize that, IRL, Dan is gangly. He couldn’t hurdle a hamster, much less a railing. Don’t let his edubrilliance fool you – Dan is basically a physical troglodyte.

  11. *Ouch*
    ~Are you going to take that Mr. Meyer???~

    That may be true for all of what I know; Michael K. Thanks for filling me in!xP