Extending the Invitation to Be “Good” at Math

Kaneka Turner

• ShadowCon Session

Friday, April 15, 2016 | 5:00PM – 6:30PM
Room: Marriott Yerba Buena 7

Do you believe yourself to be good at math? Do you remember the moment you first believed? What have you done with this perceived status? Have you ever had your membership threatened? If you have never been invited I consider this your formal invitation. I cannot wait to see you there!

Video of this talk








Danger of Being Noticed: Safety in Community


I announced recently that I am taking a much needed return to a school after serving as district elementary math specialist for a few years. I am sure that this is the right move at the right time in career but I am nervous!


I have realized a few things recently. There is a strange safety in not being noticed. When you go unnoticed you are safe when you are wrong. When you share you ideas and people take note of them you run a risk of being catapulted into a place you are not ready to occupy.


I am SO beige you guys! The background is my friend. My girlfriends joke me all the time about makeup and wearing one color BROWN!! Which is hilarious when you see my picture. I am often encouraged to try on color. This is what “trying on color” in my math journey has been like:


  1. Attending professional development with high school or middle school math teachers because I want to learn and I am curious. (they don’t bite…in fact they are pretty supportive)
  2. Raising my hand to say that thing I am wondering even though that girl across the room speaks so eloquently and appears to know exactly what she is talking about. (“that girl”…was delighted to share ideas with me and was equally intrigued by the simplicity of my question)
  3. Saying “ I am not sure I understand you, can you say more” when I am lost and need clarity. (I often get that glance that says “thanks” or “me too” from across the room after asking)


So as I leap head first onto the front line even my butterflies have butterflies! Having admitted this, I am also incredibly hopeful. I have learned the following things about community through the MTBoS and my interactions in math learning communities that are proving to ease my anxiety:


  1. There is safety in genuinely learning together. (There are lessons to be learned from the wolves and lions…packs and prides…no one of us is as good as all of us)
  2. This is a marathon… and I am just in training. (I tell myself  often “just keep swimming…”)
  3. Luke 12:48 “to whom much is given, much is expected” (it is on me to make learning safe for my teachers, students and community at large because people do this for me daily)


Rock on Guys! Keep the invites coming. Share your reality. It just might be the help someone else needs.