Monday, 2 February 2015

A Prime Assumption

Mini confession... This time last year I thought one was a prime number. Honestly. I had never really considered any other option so it was a bit of a rude shock when I realised that I was wrong. I was intrigued at the time but I put my curiosity to one side because I was juggling a new class, new year levels and new school. (And by juggling what I mean is trying to not drown.)

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.)

No comments:

Post a Comment