After a slew of math workshops all crammed together in one summer, I can generate a list of things I've either learned or relearned from my experiences:
1. Your math text is NOT your curriculum. Not for what you should teach, not for how you should teach, not for why you should teach something.
2. Every workshop seems to have the same set of characters (other than perfect people like me ... cough cough):
- the know-it-all that has to shout out all the answers quickly just to show they know things.
- the on-the-sly-constant texter
- the nary-a-peeper
- the challenged learner that asks TONS of questions
- the I-know-this-&-am-too-cool-to-REALLY-process-what-you're-saying person who will probably be unpleasantly surprised when they have to actually apply this current knowledge next year.
3. I'm set in my ways. Before my 1st out of town workshop, I was stressing, "oh no, I won't have my favorite tea, my vegetarian food, my own bed, ..." waa waa waa. I *mostly* had a change of attitude and used it as an opportunity to try new things ...... mostly.
4. I love my new school-provided laptop. When I was getting homesick, I could stream our local NPR station, and I could Skype my husband, and I could send e-mail and impatiently wait for replies to feel connected to friends.
5. "yelp.com" is a great new asset in my traveling life. I could just type in a city and "thai restaurant" or "breakfast" and get tons of opinions to scroll through to find places to go.
6. "mathforum.org" has a section called "math tools" and you can enter the subject you teach and the topic you're interested in, and it returns a list of resources for you to browse through to use: applets, calculator tasks, worksheets.