A teacher for seventeen years, Molly is the oldest of our three kids. While years ago I saw her teach algebra to eighth graders at Hammond Middle School in Alexandria, Virginia, Hannah has never seen her teach. But that is all about to change.
A text arrives from Molly inviting us to her Parent’s Math Night in late November at Fiske Elementary in Lexington, Massachusetts. As a math specialist working with teachers and kids during the day, tonight Molly will lead a workshop on teaching parents how to support their kids when it comes to learning and loving math.
My takeaways from our night at Fiske:
One, it was really cool that Molly asked us to come.
Two, always looking to have adventures with our grandsons, we made it an event by taking Owen (6) and Max (4) along for the evening.
Three, no matter what she does, Molly’s energetic and passionate. Tonight, she is articulate, composed, and well-organized.
Four, she made an excellent choice to make it a night for parents and kids. That saves parents the hassle of finding babysitters.
Five, Molly included other teachers in the presentation for over one hundred. Being a part of a team helps teachers beat the isolation and exhaustion that the teaching life can be.
Six, throughout the night, the team of teachers, reinforced key points of what they believe about the teaching of math. In addition, they encouraged parents to never say “I can’t do math.”
Seven, here and there, Molly and the teachers would talk for only two to three minutes. To keep us all engaged, they had chunks of time for parents to listen to their kids as the kids noticed and wondered about the math questions and puzzles that they were given.
Eight, parenthetically (we were the oldest ones there.). It felt like we fit right in. You’d enjoy living in our delusional world.
Nine, there were a couple of pertinent and articulate TED talk videos (2-5 minutes [referenced below]) and Carol Dweck references. As such, the evening was thoughtful and never dragged. See Carol’s wisdom to the left.
Ten, there were five raffles of math-related games, a math book, and math puzzles.
Eleven, the night was scheduled to go from 615-730P. Wisely, the night ended five minutes early. Students (and parents) of all ages love getting out early.
Twelve, Hannah and I loved the post-presentation clean-up party. Many parents joined us in folding up chairs, placing them on chair carriers, and breaking down tables to be stacked at the end of the gym.
Owen and Max got to participate and by osmosis saw what people do to support one other. It takes a village to clean up a gym.
Thirteen, I end with a video clip of Molly’s intro to the parents and kids.