First Daze of School

There are some seriously big changes heading my way this year–I’m starting in a new district after teaching in the same school for six years, with new coworkers, new administrators, new students, and new classes.

Eventually, I’ll need to come to terms with the idea that I’m going to be teaching students a great deal more privileged than I’ve become comfortable with (and a great deal whiter than I’m used to), but for now, I can’t help but focus on my class schedule.  

I’m teaching calculus for the first time.  And I can’t wait.  And I’m terrified–not because I’m not ready for the math of it all, because I am, but because it’s something new, and I have had a rather overt affair with the beauty of calculus since I first encountered it.  I’m terrified, because I want my students to see the wonder and the interconnectedness of the universe that calculus brings, and I know they won’t all find it as beautiful as I do.  

But I can dream.

And I do.  

Of refracted rainbows, and right angles and arch angels of varying degrees (stolen from Taylor Mali), of discoveries and the failures that come from near misses.  

I suppose after the first week of school, I’d love for my calculus students (not all of them, but at least a few) be open to the idea that the study of math can actually make the world a more vibrant and beautiful place. 

If I can’t have that, well, I think I’d at least like to live long enough for the weekend to give me a breather and the last few warm days of a late summer in New England.  

I don’t always rest my hopes on the shoulders of giant dreams, but usually, I think, it’s hope enough.

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