And this answer to the question, that a rose is just as fair under another name, could not be any more wrong! Sure objectively if a rose was called by another name, this fact would not change the chemical structure of the flower that produces such pleasing odours, but if we were to name them something different, something that leaves an off putting taste in your mouth when you say it, perhaps “butt demons,” the flowers would lose the sense of class and allure that the term “rose” provokes.
Where does one start?
I love the names that I see around me. They are short, to the point, and they usually show an amount of introspection and humour that I appreciate. Function of Time, Action Reaction, A Recursive Process, just to name a few, reflect the connection to these teachers’ passions as well as their philosophy of the vocation of teacher. I get the sense that these are teachers who are forming themselves as people, as well as professionals. They recognise the ongoing process of becoming great teachers without using buzzwords like “life-long learner” (no offense to anyone that has chosen that as their blog name), and that is what I wanted out of my new name.
I wanted my name to say “I am a math teacher and I am clever,” because well you know, that’s important right? Being clever? (Past Timon didn’t read the first part of this blog) I tossed out some ideas like “Guess and Check: An anthology of my problems and solutions” and gave them to Twitter to see the reaction. As soon as I posted them I realised that I had put no heart in them, they were just goofy puns that I thought were clever. I decided to add the nearly self-deprecating tweet:
I struggled with the image. What did I want it to say for my blog? Returning to the drawing board felt like I am constantly failing (it can feel like that at times), and I did not want to destine myself to constantly re-writing everything that I have (Mr. Sisyphus? No thanks). I realised what I want to do in my career is to stay at the drawing board. Re-writing has this feel of once you get it right you are done, but staying at the drawing board seems much more organic, and creative. Coming back to the drawing board implies a lack of creativity when away, staying at the drawing board means creativity is continual and growing. Returning to the drawing board implies that planning and teaching are two distinct processes, but staying at the drawing board means that my entire being as a teacher is looking towards growth at all times. I realised that in my name I wanted to encourage the drawing board; I wanted to symbolise the realisation of what the drawing board should mean for a person: not a place wear we mourn our failures and start over, but where we create our masterpieces. I thus hereby declare that henceforth my blog will be named...
Embrace the Drawing Board
It’s not a math pun. It’s not “clever” in the vain sense that I had originally wanted to be. What it represents, however, is a symbol of who I want to be as a teacher, and who I want my students to be as persons. I am not now nor will I ever be perfect. I learn from my mistakes, which means I learn a lot. I do not want to be afraid of those falls and I want my students to see this as a model. The name also acts as a reminder to myself. When I wish to avoid the drawing board, I need to see that only when actively building myself as a person and as a teacher will I find satisfaction and fulfillment in this crazy world of education. Finally, I hope it can be an encouragement for you. May you be able to go to the drawing board not as a punishment or as a reminder of your failures, but as a springboard to your potential.
Completely Nonsensical Epilogue
There was some awesome ridiculousness as awesome people were helping me think through these steps and here they are.
- Between the Drawing Board and the Waterboard
- f(drawing board)
- Continuously at the Drawing Board, But Drawing Nothing (honestly how I feel most times)
- Drawing everywhere, and Board Nowhere
- Action-Drawing Board
- Lost in the Drawing Board
- A Recursive Drawing Board