Note about #MTBOS

Dan Meyer isn’t trying to take away #MTBOS.

Rather, I get the sense from Twitter and his blog that he’s just suggesting the acronym-laden hashtag is a bit of a barrier to helping new teachers (or old teachers, new to twitter!) find resources they need.

My experience with the MTBOS started around 2010/11 after seeing Dan’s Ted Talk and starting to go to more tech-related conferences. I simply didn’t know before and felt all alone in trying to find more tech, inquiry based methods to teach my students even though I was part of a big school district in California.

There’s a bit of exclusivity, and there are people that are famous on MTBOS and perhaps not elsewhere in the math world… but those ‘celebrities’ are famous because they’ve contributed tangible content and strategies. (Shout out to Kaplinsky, Meyer, Stevens, Nguyen, Campos among many others.) MTBOS is more than just a hashtag with people spouting philosophical teaching adages… for the most part it’s sitll a community of math loving people talking about how they’d teach a concept, discussions of their understanding of concepts, and reflection on the entire spectrum of the math education world.

Since I left the classroom a few years ago, I’ve found Twitter and #MTBOS even more valuable. While I’m still helping math (and other) educators, my primary passion is still enabling high quality math education resources for all students.

No one likes not being a part of the ‘cool club’ and MTBOS is definitely that at math conferences. I feel like opening it up to something more generic would help.

But people want more participation, not just to, “get new members.” I blog regularly because of MTBOS even if not all of my blog posts are math related. I love talking with new teachers – I taught for 8 years… not forever but enough to be considered a veteran and can help newer teachers. If nothing else this debate has reminded me to regularly browse the hashtag and try to help!

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