# Math and Solidarity

I wish I had a big splashy piece for May Day. But no. Not here, not this year. This is just a little something I’ve been wanting to point out for weeks: math teachers played a nice role in EduSolidarity Day.

March 22nd NYC teachers wore red in solidarity with teachers in other states (Wisconsin led the headlines). And Steve Lazar (blogs at Outside the Cave, which despite coming from the Western Reserve, has nothing to do with Jacobs Field) thought: why not a blogger thing? a group answer to the question: Why do teachers like us support our unions?

So he gets me and Jose Vilson and Ken Bernstein (Teacher Ken) on board, and we launch, (facebook, too) and over a hundred bloggers write. Nice little splash. But math teachers? We were counted.

- First, Vilson does a clever lead in (union=unity, not a job, a career) to his real post, over at Huff. Jose teaches math.
- I teach math, and posted. (It is my damned union. Can you imagine anything more foolish than fighting a lion with a folding chair? answer: yes, throwing away the folding chair). And then I posted again, more calmly, but not as well.
- Kate Nowak, at f(t). With a salary schedule she knows she’s getting paid like a teacher, not underpaid as a woman. Great math blog, by the way.
- Dan Anderson at A Recursive Process. Unions make teaching better. Another great math blog.
- David Coffey at Delta Scape. Letter to the editor (Michigan). Teaches math, and teaches math teachers.
- Suzanne Donahue at EduSolidarity Essays, reminisces about a strike she was on in the 70s, as a new teacher.
- Roseanne McCosh at EdWize. The union lets her speak without fear, including advocating against Every Day Math. (I am with you on that, Roseann)
- Zeno Ferox, at Halfway There (math teachers and philosophy majors, you can stop snickering now. Apologies to the rest, and no, no explanation is coming). Makes math teaching, public schools, and unions go together like milk and oreos and something else.
- Mimi at I Hope This Old Train Breaks Down. Wouldn’t have gone into teaching without a union. Writes about math and other things in her school in El Salvador
- Julia Tsygan at Learning (by) Teaching. In Sweden her union negotiates neither pay nor job security, but working conditions. And to do that, the union joins them… The day of the post she became union rep, and it’s still her most recent post… But I know her more as a math blog commenter than as a math blog writer…
- Brian Cohen at Making the Grade. The union helped Hope Moffett get back to class after the District tried to fire her for speaking out. Plus teachers need a support structure, and unions help kids. I found Brian’s blog, new Philly math teacher, into good teaching, but there was no e-mail, so I facebook stalked him to ask him to participate. Creepy, huh? But worth it.
- Nick Yates at Maryland Math Madness. Self interest. On Principle. In the Interest of Students.
- The official curmudgeon at Math Curmudgeon. Unions are the force that makes education work as smoothly as it does. High school math, from the right side of Vermont.
- Chris Hill at Math is a Shovel. Without a union, he’d be making more money with his math skills doing something else.
- Sue Van Hattum at Math Mama Writes. Unions push for smaller classes and better working conditions, which are better learning conditions. Sue writes about math for kids and college, alternately serious and playful.
- Owen Thomas at MathEdZineBlog. come over to our side/ treating people as ends-in-themselves/ is more *fun* than treating them as cannon fodder. (why do I think this was meant as poetry?) Vlorbik writes about little things. Like math, and guitars. And makes MathEdZines… foldables with symmetry groups hidden on them.
- John Golden at mathhombre. Never have I encountered a group more likely to be intent to seek the good of others – he only hope we have of gaining a voice is to stand together. Had no idea this math blogger (carnival host, even!) was pro-union. Should have known.
- Kristen Fouss at My Web 2.0 Journey. We need unions with all the stuff going on in
*those*states. And she’s from Ohio. Lots of high school math, focused on course content. - Courtney Ferrell at No Teacher Left Behind. Unions help us teach better. We drove together to a math conference, AMTNYS, in Saratoga Springs five or so years ago, but were not in touch. I was pleasantly surprised to see her name pop up.
- Christopher Sears at Omega Unlimited. Teachers need a collective voice to keep the public discourse fair. College guy. Policy and teaching.
- John McCrann, guest at Outside the Cave says kids are better served in a unionized classroom, and that the middle class deserves its fair share.
- Pat Ballew at Pat’s Blog. Go ahead, teachers, rattle the bars of your cage… use your voice while you still have one…. Great math teacher, blogs all math, all the time, hard high school stuff. Plus history.
- pissedoffteacher at Pissed Off Teacher. can’t imagine working without having a union watching her back. Blogs about teaching math, for a long time, the sweet kids, the crazy school, the off-balance administrators.

There could be a few here and there I missed. But 23 out of 105? Not too shabby for our slide rule and pocket protector brigade.

May Day, and I wish I were celebrating Beltane around a maypole, weaving ribbons, dancing under the moon. Ah well, maybe I’ll go dancing in my dreams tonight.

Thanks for all you do. (And thanks for the invite.)

Hmmmm. Makes me wonder. How many art teachers posted? Not that I’m counting.

And thank you, too, Sue.

Fred, but you are counted, that’s for sure.

Sweet words are like honey, a little may refresh, but too much ruins the whole thing.

Have you seen the 175 free online math games at hoodamath.com? Check them out http://hm.gs