This weekend is the ICTM High School Math Contest State Finals. Friday afternoon I’ll be one of two coaches driving a bus^{1} of math team students down to U of I. Six students qualified to compete individually. Our 5 person calculator, freshman-sophomore 8 person, and junior-senior 8 person teams qualified too!

It should be a good weekend *(although I admit, I detest driving the bus – I’ll be much more relaxed once we get there*). Friday evening is always fun – we’ll eat dinner and then just hang out at the hotel. Last year we had “math team family game night”. This year promises to be just as enjoyable. It is one of the senior’s birthdays. A cake has been ordered that says “Happy th Birthday”.

We’re hoping for good weather so we can hang out on the quad Saturday between events. Although we can always check out the math library in Altgeld too.

A couple of years ago^{2}, I told two of the students that it had been one of my favorite places to study when I was there. Their eyes lit up.* A whole library, just for math*?… and off they went to investigate. I love coaching math team. Kids excited about a math library. Gotta love it. Now one of those “kids” is a college freshman – majoring in math. The other is a college sophomore – he wants to be a math teacher.

Have I mentioned I love coaching math team?

Wish us luck!

^{1}It’s sort of a bus. A mini bus. The kids lovingly refer to them as the ice-cream-trucks.

^{2} Even though this is my first year teaching, it’s my fourth year coaching the math team.

Photo: IMG_5648 by mrkw via flickr, cc

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Good Luck! I would enjoy being around kids that love math too!

I often feel the same way about the computer programming club I sponsor. When the funding ran out a while back I decided to just volunteer my time with the club. Sounds altruistic but in fact it’s one of the most energizing things I do in education 🙂

I love these kids. Seriously math team practice is usually the best part of my week. They are funny, talented, quirky, smart, and just generally fun to be around.

We didn’t do as well as we could have at state. We’ll try again next year. The Birthday cake

wasa hit though.Well sure. These are the kids who actually want to be there. I see the same distinction between the students in my service-level classes and those in the undergraduate math club, which I work with off-the-books and unpaid (except for the availability of free pizza Wednesday nights). After days of searching for the merest flicker of engagement in a calculus lecture, it’s great to mainline a dozen interested students at once.

Good point John.