Sleep is Good

At the Westin Resort in Whistler, BC

Week 136 – October 22, 2022 – BCAMT Fall Conference

Whew. It was amazing to return back in person to a professional development event, particularly the Provincial Fall Conference for the BC Association of Mathematics Teachers. It was like returning home. I felt reconnected to my roots, that is math educators, and it was great to reunite with so many math educators I was acquainted with before in my past life, with those I know from Twitter (or at least they knew me), and with other folks who have a shared love for math education.

Of course this year’s theme of the conference was “A Space to Belong” and I really felt that with the learning community, the workshops, and the keynote speakers. It was a good place for me to be and I had the pleasure and honour to present Noelle Pepin’s work, Beaded Tweets, and how her presentation in one of my classes (i.e., EDUC 370 – Numeracy Across the Curriculum) had an impact on my students’ understanding of the First Peoples Principles of Learning, BC’s Curriculum, and numeracy across the curriculum via the Math 8 Curricular Competencies. This is the power of beading. I could not believe the amount of prep that was required because I wanted to keep true to Noelle’s work, voice, and intentions and introduce EDUC 370. Overall, the workshop was a success and provided some insight on our upcoming program evaluation (aka., manuscript) about this work.

Whew. I was so glad to present on Friday morning as one of the first set of workshops. It was in a small room and as always, the right people and at the right time was the workshop. The participants were engaged and by the end of the workshop, they were able to bead their own bracelet or keychain. I was very happy with the prep and how the presentation turned out. Great questions and now I think I have a good direction as to who I want to write this program evaluation. I did not realize the value of presentations at conferences to influence and provide feedback on one’s manuscript, but now I am learning that.

After that meeting, I opted to miss the next workshop to prep for my meeting. In turn, I saw through Twitter that the Chancellor and President were being inducted. I could not miss that and was happy to witness most of the event virtually via live video feed. Of course I could not be in two places at once and would have loved to be there in person. Timing was not on my side for attending the event and afternoon convocation ceremony for the 2020 and 2021 graduates, but I was able to watch part of the event virtually. I was happy with that.

My lunch time meeting went well. I was happy again to access a meeting that I could not attend in person but could via Zoom. It’s not perfect but it helped me in some way to be in two places at once. Because of the induction ceremony and my lunch time meeting, I did miss two workshops I would have like to have gone to. These two math educators are not from BC but they do inspire me to be a better (math) educator. I love feeling provoked and engaging in new ideas. I did walk away with a nugget from the opening keynote speaker that I am bringing to my Monday’s class and I had another takeaway from the only other session I attended after my lunch meeting about REVERENCE, the four R’s, Storywork, and the water. I just loved it.

After that afternoon session by the Indigenous Math Network and the good work they are doing, I wondered around Whistler. I returned back to the Cultural Centre. I went there after the opening keynote address with a person I met at the keynote to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Vector, the magazine/journal of the BCAMT. It was an amazing night and I got see and say hello to many friends who are math educators. I just loved it. I felt grounded and reconnected. I needed to do this and be in this place with these people at this time. I am so grateful. Going back the next day after the after workshops was more about going for a walk, seeing the gift shop and museum, and maybe getting something to eat. HELLO? I got salmon chowder and bannock for a late lunch, a smoked salmon panini on bannock to go (for breakfast the next day), and caught the end of the museum tour. I felt that my needs were met.

I had to return back to hotel room to drop off my smoked salmon sandwich and put it into the fridge and spent some free time trying to figure out what to do for the evening. I was so tired from prepping the workshop and lack of sleep, I figured out how the gas fire place worked and opted to order dine-in food for dinner, enjoy the fire, and go to bed early. There is something so satisfying about sleeping in the middle of a king sized bed. I went to bed at 9am with no regrets. Yes, it was my last night in Whistler, but I decided how I wanted to spend my time. The room was beautiful, the dine-in food was delicious and satisfying, and I respected my body and needs for the evening. I did not go out to the social event, even though I saw bits of it on Twitter. I felt so good to rest, not work, and sleep with no worries other than to catch the bus back to the airport in the morning. All is good. Caught the bus. Ate my smoked salmon panini. Made it back home safe, rested, and happy.