This year I'm teaching the same year levels in the same classroom with some of the same kids (can't begin to explain the joy I feel in this - that's a whole different post I think). I have the mental space to investigate why my original assumption was wrong. So today, in a short break in a meeting, I did. It took no more than a minute.
Probably less than a minute.
And you know what? I found the answer, I shelved my old assumption as misguided and I moved on. Simple as that.
So why didn't I do it last year?
I can't answer that easily. It probably has to do with some other assumptions I held - about myself. Like many new teachers I assumed that unless I was overwhelmed I wasn't 'doing' early career teaching properly - whatever that means. I assumed that always being on the run meant I'd get 'there' - wherever 'there' is. I assumed that admitting I needed help was a sign of weakness - however that works.
Yep. I held a whole bunch of pretty unhelpful assumptions. And it has taken me me somewhat longer than a minute to find the answers to help me shelve them. I have though, and I think that's probably why, today, I admitted to my school's Maths Coach that I'd been wrong about a pretty basic fact, asked him for help and then took a moment to look it up.
Many of my assumptions have been challenged in the past year; the prime one being that I need to be anything other than what I already am.
(It turns out that there are several answers to my original question, all increasingly mathematical, that are succinctly explained here.)