Rested up from an exhausting day at a middle school (noise wears me out). Long story short, given a choice between teaching and crowd control, I will choose teaching every time, which is to say I gave a lot of individual attention, had the most problematic kids removed, and tried to keep my sanity though the sheer level of noise. This is sad. I could write a lot, but I'd rather devote my headspace to making next week a little better. Still, I'll write a little. I love math, and I love when the lightbulb goes on for a kid who is plugging away at it. Learning math resembles learning music to me in that you lay a foundation that starts from what you know. Get some mastery, pile more harder stuff on. Master that. Pile on more. Feel the relief when the thing you couldn't master two weeks ago crystallizes while you are working on the next hard thing. Be confident that what you don't know, what you think you cannot do, will become something you can do, and do with élan. Math lays bare this process, as do the arts and athletics, but especially math. Math literacy is about process, about learning that you will always be learning. I suspect our smart-phone era, where one gets so much stimulation for a mere swipe, obscures the pleasures of being happily absorbed in a challenge. Yes, sad.