Why I Organize TMC

I was coming home from working at school on Saturday as I am getting ready for students to return on Wednesday. The TMC Party Anthem came on my iPod playlist. I pretty much took the video and pulled the audio from it and wasn’t really paying attention to where the song actually started and finished. When I got to this point in the audio track, I pretty much lost it as I was driving home. I knew what was on the screen at that point and what was happening in the room at that moment.

(This post is very much a post about me. Very unlike me. I won’t be offended if you move along to read something else.)

You see (if you didn’t go and watch), at that moment, not only were people applauding our phenomenal crew who put together and performed the song, people were applauding me for having created this space we call TMC (paraphrasing the words on the slide). I don’t deal well with this part of doing TMC at all. I never have. The public recognition makes me uncomfortable, because this isn’t about me. It’s never been about me. Don’t get me wrong, I do honestly appreciate the recognition and all of the recognitions large and small that people have said or done over the last five TMCs.¹ But I don’t do TMC for the recognition.

So, why do I continue to organize TMC? After all, I do have a full time job, have two children who keep me hopping once school is over for the day, and other things that keep me busy also. Quite simply, it’s because I want to continue to learn from you all. I want to be the best teacher I can be and I aspire to be at least close to as good as I believe each of the teachers who are involved with the Math Twitter Blog-o-Sphere or who have attended TMC is.

I am struggling at the moment, quite a bit for me for it to be T minus 4 days until students. I broke my rule of not working on Saturdays to go up to school with the hope of getting all of the work done for the remainder of the week ahead done. I got everything done for the first day and that was it. I left disappointed. Still so much to do. And then I was listening to the TMC Party Anthem on the way home. And I was listening and Nathan was admitting that he wanted to steal all of your lessons, I was reminded that I feel exactly the same way. As I am getting ready for the start of the year, I have already incorporated an activity that Tony Riehl shared with me, stolen 3 or 4 things from Sara VanDerWerf (seriously, if you haven’t been to her blog, you have to check out what she does!), pestered asked Jonathan Claydon about how to redo Algebra 2, and that’s just what comes to mind at the moment.

I keep organizing TMC because then I know I’ll be able to learn from you each summer. You each inspire me to be the best teacher I can be. And because I know how awesome you all are, when I don’t reach my expectations (which are pretty high in and of themselves), I feel like not only am I letting down myself and my students, but you all as well. But I also know that as I stumble and struggle, all I have to do is reach out and you’ll be there.

Addendum: Well, all that and I can’t wait to see my friends each summer. I need to see y’all to renew and re-energize.

¹ For the record, I still use the wonderful Tervis cup that someone got me at TMC12. I never figured out who that was. So, whomever you are, thank you. There was never any way to properly thank you for thinking of me, so this will have to do.


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One thought on “Why I Organize TMC”

  1. David Swart says:

    TMC is http://www.twittermathcamp.com/ for newbies just reading about this for the first time.

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