A New Exploration!

Are you new to the MTBoS? Don’t even remember that MTBoS stands for the unwieldy mathtwitterblogosphere? No worries! This post is for you!

Are you an expert MTBoSer? This post is for you!

Have you flagged in your engagement with the MTBoS and want to re-energize? This post is for you!

Are you looking for your lost pet chinchilla and somehow came across this post in your search for Fluffy-the-Destroyer? This post is not for you. (But good luck! Did you look under the kitchen sink yet?)

Because we love how much we’ve gotten out of working with other math teachers — asking questions, getting lesson ideas, pushing our teaching to be a little less sucky — we want others to join us in our little faculty lounge.

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And we want to expand our global math department in both depth and breadth so it is becomes a huge faculty lounge. And here’s our plan…

Stage 1: Spread the word!

Have a colleague who has expressed interest in the cool resources you share? Have a new teacher in your department who is hungry to be awesome? Tell them about this site and tell ’em to sign up! Going to a conference? Tell everyone you meet about your amazing online math community (especially the check-in-clerk at the hotel!) and send them here. Own a blog? Write a post there directing people here, so they can find out about this!

Why do we want everyone looking at this site? Because that’s the only way they can sign up for (dum dum DUM) stage 2!

Stage 2: Mentoring!

From now until December 1st we will have two forms open:

menteeOne form (click here!) for people new to MTBoS who want a mentor. This is for people who are interested, but want a little personal help getting started. Twooter? Blerg? What are these things? Or people who have tried using twitter but are intimidated or don’t quite know how to engage or make it useful. Or people who want to blog but don’t quite know how to start! Or people who have started blogging but need a push…

mentorOne form (click here!) for MTBoS veterans who are willing to mentor. This is for people who have been blogging and tweeting, and are interested in shepherding others as they explore what great things are out there. They’ll connect with those new to the community, and help them find sites of interest to visit, people to talk with, and answer any questions.

The timing is purposeful — NCTM regional conferences as well as many state conferences are happening between now and December. There are a number of speakers who will be talking about the MTBoS! The sign up forms will be open during that time, so we can initiate them all as one group.

Starting in December anyone who knows anything about this community will help all those who want to learn more about the community. Mentors and mentees will be matched up and work together to explore, and mentees will have access to the expertise of the whole community once they learn how to tweet. (We all will watch the #MTBoS hashtag extra carefully, where newbies will be asking questions… and we all will be able to answer ’em!)

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During this time in December, newbies will have the opportunity to engage at their own pace to learn about reading blogs, reading and contributing to twitter, organizing all that amazing information and the plethora of other resources this community has to offer. For them, this time will be not about drinking from a firehose and doing everything, but using their mentors to find the things that they might find interesting and useful.

Stage 3: Blogging Initiation!

We are suggesting a new year’s resolution for the entirety of the global math department: blog more. In January we will run a four week blogging initiation, hosted here. It will include entry level prompts for new bloggers as well as challenge prompts for experienced bloggers. Everyone is invited to participate and give back to this amazing community by sharing your expertise and reflecting on your practice.

Stage 4: The Future!

The future holds whatever you can imagine. If you love having a weekly blogging prompt we are negotiating an agreement with the global math department newsletter to bring back Sunday Funday. While official mentoring duties will be complete everyone should be looking out for new recruits and getting ready to welcome a new crew from the NCTM annual meeting in San Francisco!

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10 thoughts on “A New Exploration!

  1. Are you looking for any non-us mentors?

  2. What equipment is needed to tweet? That’s how far off I am:)

  3. The form for those looking for mentors appears to be just geared toward blogging. Is there a separate form for those of us who’d just like some help with twitter?

    • Nope, the form is the same! There’s a place where you can write down more individual things for a mentor to see (so you should write about needing help with twitter in there). And the mentors will then hopefully be able to gear their help to what you need/want from them!

  4. Wait! The class sizes go from 15 or less to 20-30! Where’s the 15-20 option?

  5. I totally missed the Dec. 1 deadline to get a mentor. Will you be offering this opportunity again in the future?

    • Hi Pat, We try to run some sort of exploration each year. In the meantime feel free to ask anyone questions and join in on the blogging challenge starting soon.

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