Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Starting the "Maths Teachers' Study Group" - at Airoli, Navi-Mumbai from 18th May

Hello friends,

It’s that time of the year again -- end of April and most of the teachers must be on the verge of finishing their academic responsibilities. Some of you might have already planned your holiday-trips, isn’t it? Hmmmm...  J

You know what? Today morning, I had a fantastic experience with my students, while working on fractions. And that’s when I decided, that I will share this story with you in the evening. So I sit down, write few lines, and all of a sudden, some other thing comes to my mind. I pause. I thought that the latter one is more important and even interesting. So, what next? I press the Ctrl+A, Ctrl+X, Ctrl+N, Ctrl+V. Yes, you guessed it right. The fraction story will come to you ‘after’ this broadcast in the next email J

A strange yet interesting thing happened last week (And I am so-so-so-happy that Finally, it did happen!) I got an email from couple of maths teachers. They wrote to me that this time, they want to make a better use of their month-long vacation - for their own professional growth.  (Waaaaaaaaow!) They wish to dive deeper into this mighty and beautiful ocean of mathematics.

Isn’t this really exciting? I really appreciate their decision – because they are embarking upon this learning journey, completely on their own, without any support (or push? :) from their respective schools. Excellent!! My dream to start a Maths Teachers’ Study Group has come to a reality, finally!!

So - to be very honest, I am personally much more excited than these couple of teachers now. To start working with them, to listen to them – about their classroom stories, their challenges, discussing about the most common maths mistakes that students make, analyze and learn from these mistakes, mathematics content and pedagogy related matters, investigation and inquiry-oriented mechanisms of teaching and learning mathematics, and of course, share with them my book-readings, experiences and even insights of senior global mathematics educationists -- their articles and host of educational videos, and ,.....and........and........ – there will be loads of FUN – like Playing mathematical games, solving ancient mathematics puzzles, and trying to unlock and appreciate the value embedded in these (often ignored) mathematically rich entities.... Oooooffff :-)  :-)

All this might remind some of you about my initiative of starting the maths-learners google group, and then even the compilation and circulation of "Math Energizer", isn't it? For the new folks in this group, this is the link that will navigate you to all the documents and maths stories that have been shared in this group till now: (you may esp. like to check out the oldest posts):!forum/maths-learners-group/join

But then, I am sad that I am unavailable till 16th May, because of some other prior-commitments. Hence, despite these teachers being ready to start immediately, we will be able to start only from 18th May.

So friends, here’s an Invitation to All of you.....

If you or any of your colleagues would be interested to embark upon this thrilling-learning journey of mathematics, you are Most Welcome!! Write an email to me about your interest and participation in this "Maths Teachers’ Study Group" and you are IN! So simple, isn’t it? J

But what about the Fees, Time/ Duration, Frequency of sessions/meetings, Number of hours? 
Well, nothing is decided on these 'trivial' matters - as of now. We will work out all these details later, as the group evolves (when I say evolve, I do not mean by quantity - but by wisdom :-). We, the interested teachers and me, believe that all these details are important, but still are secondary and hence, can be easily worked out later, esp. by a person or group who is really hungry to learn!

I can personally relate to this fact because some time back, I used to travel for around 6 hours by ST buses, on the first Sunday of every month, to be a part of similar Teachers’ Study Group based at Wada Taluka of Thane district. To reach there, I had to first travel by a train, then change two buses and then again an auto. J Yes, the journey drained me out completely, but the peer-teachers and the discussions in the Study Group recharged and refreshed me, much more!

The only thing we are sure about now is that We Are Beginning – without worrying too much about the nitty-grittes. We are also not much concerned now about the destination and the challenges that we may face in this journey.

We are meeting on 18th of May at Airoli, Navi-Mumbai at sharp 10 am – to Begin! 

I am eagerly waiting to hear those precious three words from you --  "I am IN"  :)   I will then share with you the necessary guidelines and documents. 

Imp: I am not taking any space on rent and all... So the group size will (unfortunately) be limited by the size of the room.
I never use this phrase - First come First Serve -- but sadly, it will be applied this time :-)

PS: I am also happy to share with you all an article that was recently published on Divya Bhaskar, a marathi newspaper. Though some statements and figures do need some correction, however I am thankful to the reporter for sparing few minutes to listen to me and even the editor for to share my story, work and vision with people around. People often wonder about my switch from engineering to teaching school maths. And it has been Real challenge for me to answer this question to anyone (esp. strangers) in even half an hour... So, I guess, this 2-minute quarter-page article will turn out be a good handy beginner to quench their curiosity :)

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