Friday, June 01, 2012

Nice To Meet You...

When I started this blog in January of 2005, I didn't know the what's/how's/why's of how this would transpire. I wanted to keep most (all?) of my privacy just in case there were repercussions. Within the last year or so, I've only JUST started mentioning to people I know that I blog, and THAT took me 6 years. Now it feels kind of stilted and phony to me to just keep signing e-mails or blog responses as "Ms. Cookie". I completely understand the reasoning for everyone doing it, but it started to feel "un-right" somehow for me. By the way, why that name? I like cookies. Really logical.

I've also been mentioning blogs as a great resource to other teachers, and again if feels phony when I fail to mention mine. So what if they come upon it and recognize my picture. Do they mention it to me? Do they not? Do I mention it? ARGH!

So, hello, nice to meet you. I'm Shireen D. I never started out wanting to be a teacher. Now I can't think of anything else I would rather spend my time doing. Blogging and reading blogs have been such great experiences that allow me to get advice and resources and camaraderie and hear other teachers' ideas, and I'm able to think out loud on what has worked and not worked for me. I'm less in a teaching vacuum because of the generosity and availability of other teachers that are processing their work for the rest of us to share.

Case in point today. We have a new teacher that will be teaching AP Statistics next year, and we quickly went online with various search phrases and were able to find blogs, activities, syllabi, outlines, etc. Now this teacher will be affecting 15 or more kids and will have great resources to do so. The inevitable question: WHAT DID WE DO BEFORE THE INTERNET?!


  1. Hi Shireen! When you said no one knew your name before,I was puzzled. I knew your name ... oh, Ms. Cookie isn't a real name? OK. Nice to meet you.

    -Math Mama Sue

  2. Shireen is a beautiful name. Nice to meet you. Peace.

    PS: what kind of cookies do you like? I am a sucker for Famous Amos Double Chocolate.

  3. Hello back. And Cookies? Basically, I'd have to say any homemade cookie from scratch will have a hard time surviving around me. Of course, when time is a factor, I will NOT snub the store-bought. That would be silly.

  4. Anonymous7:39 AM

    Hi Shireen! I've only recently come across your blog (via Pinterest somehow. . .that site is total time suckage!) and I've enjoyed reading it. We have a lot in common-- I've been teaching math for 15 years, I love yoga, and live for cookies (and all other forms of sugar-infused baked deliciousness). But unlike you, I feel like lately I've become one of "those" teachers that are frustrated and disillusioned and cranky and. . .the list goes on. And I'm not proud of it. I know that trying to balance being a good teacher and a good mom has a lot to do with it, but I hate that I'm feeling that way. Maybe summer vacation will help. But your blog also helps, so I want to thank you for sharing your thoughts, experiences, ideas, and WORKSHEETS! with the world. It is a pretty great thing you are doing and you should feel good "owning" it with your real name. So, thank you and nice to "meet" you.
    :-) Jen
    P.S. I'm teaching AP Calc AB next year and I'm freaking out already. Haven't even thought about Calculus since college (and I don't even want to talk about how long ago THAT was). So, I was really excited to see that was on your (shockingly long) list of preps next year. I look forward to any words of wisdom and/or genius activities that you post! Thanks again. . .

  5. Hey Jen, I'm teaching calculus I (community college) for the first time in over 5 years, so I'm on the lookout for good ideas too. Sam Shah has some great posts lately about that course.

  6. Hi Jen and Sue,

    I taught AP Calc a while ago at my other school, so I'm not freaking out "to the limit" (ar ar ar), but I am worried about balance and such. I'm going to an APSI workshop this July, and I know the presenter is awesome, so I'll be able to get materials and such and ideas, and I'm totally sharing whatever I come up with. I know ONE big thing is to NOT start with a precal review at the start. TWO reasons: gets a false sense of lulling of the kids, and they forget it all when they need it later. ... Good luck on the balance thing everyone.

  7. Hello to all you ladies, admittedly while I am not acquainted with the actual AP calculus syllabus you are teaching in the US, however if it is any use, feel free to download material(mostly summaries and worked problem sets) from my supplementary math site . Peace.

    PS: Shireen, I like the "homemade cookies having a hard time surviving around you" line. I still hang on to the hope that perhaps I could eventually convince you to do a guest post for my site( You shrieked and rejected me ever so adorably quite some time ago). Your humor is just so darn top-rated.

  8. Hi Shireen. I really enjoy your blog even though I don't often find the time to read it. The math education blogger community never stops impressing me -- researchers seem idle and boring next to you all!

  9. Hi Shireen! I do understand and respect your reasons for being Ms. Cookie for as long as you have. I know this blogging world has helped me connect with amazing teachers and be inspired by them; and I hope to reciprocate in small ways via my blogging. I also know that we connect with other bloggers beyond the math that we teach, there is a warmth and sensitivity and humor that is evident in how and what math teachers write.

    (And darn it, why does Sue always beat me to the comments?! :)

  10. Whitecorp: thanks for the extra resources! Always welcome.

    Peter: I find it so great that with a few clicks I can always find something to inspire fresh ideas.

    Fawn: I've enjoyed reading about your math activities you do with your class. And, I KNOW! I don't want to say it .... okay, I will, but most all the math teachers I've worked with have been a treat to be around.

  11. I am so glad that you blog. Yours was one of the first discovered when I started blogging a few years ago. I always find something from your blog to inspire an activity in my classroom just when I need it. Blogging and reading other teacher blogs has changed my teaching and rejuvenates me like nothing else I have found. Have a great summer.

  12. Thanks, Christy, and likewise on the "thanks for blogging".