Episode 183: Ensuring Equitable Supports for Students – An Interview with Tashana Howse

May 30, 2022 | Podcast | 0 comments



In this episode, we sit down for a chat with Dr. Tashana Howse, an associate professor of mathematics education at Georgia Gwinnett College. With over 22 years in mathematics education, Tashana has a wealth of experience teaching in the high school classroom and now helps to develop the teachers of tomorrow through preservice teacher education courses. 

Stick around as we dive into Tashana’s Make Math Moments Virtual Summit presentation topics involving how we can ensure equitable supports for all students in the mathematics classroom. From getting to know your learner to reflecting on what we are bringing with us to the mathematics classroom community, we’ll be digging deep into equitable teaching practices.

You’ll Learn

  • Two prongs of professional development that are needed to ensure you reach every student; 
  • Why focusing on who your students are will help with your classroom management; and,
  • The characteristics of a culturally responsive educator.


2021 Make Math Moments Virtual Summit Session: Mathematics Interventions: Ensuring Equitable Supports for Students – Tashana Howse

Make Math Moments Academy

Twitter: @tdhowse_math 

Are you a district mathematics leader interested in crafting a mathematics professional learning plan that will transform your district mathematics program forever? Book a time to chat with us!

Start your school year off right by downloading the guide that you can save and print to share with colleagues during your next staff meeting, professional learning community meeting or just for your own reference!


Tashana Howse: Student engagement is impacted by those equitable practices. Students, their potential is not sparked, they're not interested in the content sometimes when we are not utilizing them and taking the opportunities to make those connections. So these nine practices really are connecting with the students and getting to know them. And I can mention a couple of them.

Kyle Pearce: In this episode, we sit down-

Tashana Howse: Like one is monitoring how- inaudible

Kyle Pearce: ... for a chat with Dr. Tashana Howse, an associate professor of mathematics education at Georgia Gwinnett College. With over 22 years in mathematics education Tashana has a wealth of experience teaching in the high school classroom, and now helps to develop the teachers of tomorrow through pre-service teacher education courses.

Jon Orr: Stick around as we dive into Tashana's make Math Moments Virtual Summit presentation topics involving how we can ensure equitable supports for all students in the mathematics classroom, from getting to know your learner, to reflecting on what we are bringing with us to the mathematics classroom community, we'll be digging in deep into equitable teaching practices.

Kyle Pearce: All right, let's do this. Welcome to the making Math Moments that Matter podcast. I'm Kyle Pearce.

Jon Orr: And I'm Jon Orr. We are from makingmathmoments.com and together-

Kyle Pearce: With you, the community of Math Moment makers worldwide who want to build and deliver math lessons that spark curiosity.

Jon Orr: Fuel sense making.

Kyle Pearce: And ignite your teacher moves. My friends, we are super excited to jump into a conversation with Tashana. Jon, I don't know about you the last time we had an opportunity to chat with her, At least I had an opportunity to chat with her was back in November at the Virtual Summit. It was awesome. That presentation was great and is still up in the academy for academy members to dive into those replays. I know I learned a ton, but just having this conversation, for me, anyway, really reminded me and maybe even deepened my understanding of some of the learning the first time around. How about you?

Jon Orr: Yeah, definitely. Hearing or listening in on the conversation as you are just about to do when we reflect on that conversation, brings back memories, but also sparked some new stuff, some new thoughts on my current practice, what I'm doing in my classroom, how can I do that better? What are some resources that can help me with that? I got a lot out of this conversation and I know you will, too, so don't forget to stick around and listen to the whole thing. You're not going to regret it.

Kyle Pearce: All right, here we go, my friends. Hey, there Tashana. Thank you so much for joining us here on the Making Math Moments that Matter podcast. We are so excited and actually, Jon, I don't know about you, but I get really excited when we get an opportunity to get one of our past or future summit speakers coming on the podcast, and that Tashana spent some time with us last November and gave a fantastic talk. So we'll dive into that a little bit, but first, how are things going with you, Tashana?

Tashana Howse: Hi, Kyle and Jon, things are going well. I am definitely excited to be here. Excited to share with you two tonight.

Jon Orr: Awesome stuff. As we are also excited, like Kyle said, it's great that you did your session back in November. You're here to chat about that and more, probably, with us. So we are excited to share what you've been thinking about, what's on topic of your mind, and what you're working with, the people that you work with. So do us a little favor, Tashana. Can you tell our listeners, we know about you, but tell our listeners a little bit about yourself, where are you coming from, and how long, what's your teaching journey? Can you fill us in on some background there too, please?

Tashana Howse: Most definitely. I am coming to you all from the awesome state of Florida. I was born and raised in the Fort Lauderdale Beach, Broward County area. So coming from that background, I have this year, a total of 22 years of teaching experience. And for those math minds, they could actually come up with the date or the year of when I started teaching, because this is my 22nd year of teaching. So with that, with 22 years, I've done seven years of teaching high school mathematics. I taught all the levels, from ninth grade to 12th grade mathematics. And the rest of my years have been at the college level. So I've taught in the college of education for what, I did three years of teaching pure mathematics in the college of mathematics and science at Bethel inaudible University. And then the rest of my years have been colleges of education. So that's my background.

Kyle Pearce: That is fantastic. I had to make a comment though, Jon, because Fort Lauderdale, when we go down to Florida, my family, my parents usually spend winters down in Florida up in Port St. Lucie. We usually come into Fort Lauderdale. What an awesome area. But Jon, what were you about to say, there?

Jon Orr: Actually, now that you said that, because I swear Tashana, when we last chatted with you, you were in Atlanta.

Tashana Howse: Right. In Atlanta, I am working at Georgia Gwinnett College where I am a mathematics professor, professor of mathematics education to be exact. And I've been here for about six years. So I'm from Florida, where the beaches are, but then I've been living in a landlocked state for about six years, which has been different, but it's definitely been an awesome experience, so true to my passion of being a mathematics educator.

Kyle Pearce: Awesome. So I'm glad, Jon, that you caught that, because I just zoomed right in on Florida. I just had a personal connection there. But you know what? Georgia's such a fabulous state as well, and the Atlanta area. So awesome stuff. We are so excited to have you here. And as we dig in a little bit deeper, this is the Making Math Moments that Matter podcast. So we always like to ask our guests about their math moment from their own K through 12 experience. Some people have stretched it beyond. There's no real hard rules here, but when we say math moment, what comes to mind for you, Tashana?

Tashana Howse: For me, what comes to mind, and I've shared this during multiple pre presentations, but I was a little, Black girl that was just really good at numbers. And it really was not, just really smart all around, but then really good with numbers. So your well rounded, smart kid that was good at mathematics, but no one really paid attention to how smart this young lady was. And so until I got in the 10th grade and this lady, well, my counselor in 10th grade was like, "Wow, I'm really recognizing how well, you could definitely be in advanced level classes. And so I'm thinking you're not being challenged." And so with that being said, she put me in the 10th grade and all advanced classes. So prior to that, this smart, highly gifted young lady, her potential was not recognized until that counselor said something.
And when I was placed in the advanced classes, I am reminded of this geometry, math class that really sparked my just everything. Really, really smart girl. But when I got into this geometry class, it captured everything about my learning, who I am, what I love, my passion. And the awesome thing about the geometry class is the teacher didn't teach. Well, I guess I shouldn't say she didn't teach. She was a facilitator. So she made mathematics fun. She made it realistic. We built things, constructed things. Most of all, we discovered mathematics. We discovered theorems, we discovered the postulates, and so on and so forth. So it was just a different kind of experience that I had not experienced before. So from kindergarten through ninth grade, I had not experienced that type of learning environment or experience prior to that experience. So that is my math moment, when I was in a geometry class and my potential had been sparked.

Kyle Pearce: I love it. Something that popped into my mind as you were telling the story and you just hit on it when you said, "This teacher didn't teach." And by the way, we knew what you were getting at, there. We totally got it. I'm sure everybody at home was like, "Oh yeah, we know what you're saying." Now, I'm wondering. And we usually like to ask like how this impacts you as a teacher or facilitator, as you're saying. I'm really curious also, was that potential not recognized or realized due to how the math was being taught, or was it potentially being like discrimination, or was it a combination, or are you unsure? I'm curious. And then how does that influence who you are as an educator to ensure that doesn't happen to any students in your class, or at least at minimum, anyway.

Tashana Howse: I think to answer the question about how and why it was, I don't know all the answers. But I can like make some speculations based off of experience, and research, and just different things over time. And I think I can make the connection when I talk about my brother, who also came from the same background, same home as me, or what have you. And he wasn't your excelling type student. So we were like two opposites. And so basically I felt like there was this tracking thing that was happening. But I didn't understand it until I became a researcher. So I really can't back and say that this is what it was. All I can say is I believe I lived some things that I'm reading about in the research and the language. And so now, because of that, I speak to it when I talk about equitable teaching practices, mathematics interventions, and choosing appropriate tasks for students, and sparking students' interest, and why student engagement should be at the forefront. Student engagement and student relationships, those should really be at the forefront of our teaching of mathematics.

Jon Orr: Yeah. It is an interesting thing that, like you said, you probably, at the time didn't realize what was happening, but now looking back, you can see, "Yeah, I think that's what was happening, maybe wasn't placed there because of this reason or that reason." And definitely, when you make that comment, it's like a big bell is going off by going, like "What, how many other kids are also not realizing that same thing even today?" Like when you went through school a number of years ago, but even today, it's like, "How many kids are not realizing that maybe they are being prevented from reaching their full potential?" And that's going to be, I think, the big spark of what we're going to talk about here, is talking about your session at the 2021 Make Math Moments Virtual Summit.
And we'd love to highlight, "Yeah, that worked." Because you had a great turnout. You had lots of engaged people in that session, which was all around interventions and little supports for students. And if I dive in a little bit into this, you mentioned in that session, a section on assessments, and assessment of student understanding are really key to providing support and interventions for those support. But I think what you said, there were some key components of assessing student understanding. And I'm wondering, what are some of those key components of assessment? Because I think we all are wondering about, "How do I assess my students in the best possible way? What does assessment really mean?" Sometimes some of us are probably still grappling with that. And then also when is the best time to perform some of these assessments?

Tashana Howse: This is awesome. Assessing for appropriate intervention, basically some of those components include, number one, ensuring that the assessment is aligned to a particular learning goal or a particular standard. So that's key, because we have to have backing for what we're looking for. So aligned to a learning goal standard. And then that learning goal has specific learning targets. So identifying what is the target that you are assessing? So, "I got this standard and I need to assess these learning targets or this particular target." And if you're going to assess that target, you want to ensure that it is accessible to the learner. So that means the learner has to have access to it. And in order for the learner to have access, number one, they definitely need to, it needs to be something that they can enter. It needs to be a task that they can start, that they can begin, no matter what level they're on, but they can enter the task, enter the assessment, enter whatever it is that they're dealing with or working with during the assessment.
And then I really believe another piece that we need to think about is the balance of cognitive demand where we are writing assessments. So ensuring that the task or the assessment has an opportunity for students to not only engage in recall or memorization, but also a task that's going to engage in deep thought, deep thinking, that's going to get them to provide their way of reasoning or bring their way of reasoning to the assessment. So that allows you to really get an understanding for where that student is for that particular standard, for that particular learning target, and so on and so forth.

Kyle Pearce: Yes. I love that. And we're, jotting down our points here and this is bringing back memories from the session, which is great. I hope that some of our listeners who saw the session already are going, "Oh yeah, these are some of the pieces that you brought up." Which I think is so key. So you brought up, there's a lot there to unpack. And something that really resonated with me was just about this idea of having a task, essentially that is accessible for all students, but then also does have some cognitive demand there so that you can actually see where students are. And what that looks like or sounds like to me, and maybe you can help us and shed some light on this is picturing a task where some students might be able to enter with, say counting strategies, whereas other students might be thinking additively. Other students might be thinking multiplicatively, other students might be fluent with ratios and rates, or whatever it might be depending on the task, but where all students can actually enter it, can engage with it.
And then I guess in my mind, what I'm picturing is when you do that, then you can get a better sense of where they are, whereas if it's a very closed task, if it's only accessible by those who can actually do the task, then you're not really learning much about where a student who's struggling is. And I'm wondering if you had any, if we can go deeper on that? How would an educator who's sitting there going like, "Whoa, maybe I haven't thought about this yet. Maybe I haven't read or been introduced to this idea in their own professional learning." How does someone get started with that work? Is there anywhere you might point them or any ideas to help them with that?

Tashana Howse: It's great. And I love the way that you just kind of summed up every all of what I was saying in there, you just brought it all home and brought it all together. That was awesome. And to provide a response to your question, I think what I want to say is definitely getting to know your students, that's huge. There's two major pieces in that is number one, you got to, knowing the content, having a key understanding of the content, but then also knowing the learner, those two things coupled together are going to allow us to really be able to assess who and where they are with a particular standard. And so getting to know your students, there are different ways to definitely go about doing that. It all depends on the person, depends on the students, depends on all these different factors, but number one, just having a conversation with them.
That's what that counselor did for me. That counselor brought me to her office. We just sat down and we had a conversation. We just talked. So maybe I was only a ninth grader at the time, but that conversation meant so much and it spoke volumes to me. So knowing your students, and then having a keen understanding of the content, and that understanding have to be in a way that we understand the coherence of how, what comes before me and after me, meaning what I'm teaching, if I'm teaching algebra, what happens in middle school that connects or bridges that algebra, what happens in the algebra two geometry. So having those two things together are going to help us unpack really good, equitable assessments for our students.

Jon Orr: Yeah, totally, knowing what they can do, and knowing the student is so important. And unfortunately, I think for a lot of teachers, and I'm going to go out a limb, here, and because Kyle and I always kind of hash on high school teachers because we're both high school teachers by training. I'm still a high school teacher, but high school teachers, we've said in the past, I think a lot of elementary teachers get into teaching because they really love the kids. And it's really very natural for an elementary teacher to go like, "I'm going to, I want to teach the kid. I got to get to know the kids."
Whereas, I think high school teachers, especially for me, and I guess that's why I'm speaking for experience. I had to learn that. Because a lot of us get into teaching because we liked the subject. We liked mathematics. We had an affiliation with it. We fell in love with mathematics. And then we're like, "I want to pass that on to kids." So when I first started teaching, it was that love of mathematics. I tried to share that love by being really excited about mathematics. But I still, I think, was solely focused on the mathematics and the lessons and not the actual students.
And I think a lot of teachers are still in that place. So I'm wondering, Tashana, if you could fill in some gaps for those people? I know that most listeners of our podcast are probably teachers who already know that they have to teach kids and have to understand and get to know students. But I'm wondering if you can compare and contrast? Think about a teacher who is only focused on the mathematics, and not the student, and what they're missing out on for assessment, for helping that student along, versus a teacher who is solely focused on helping that student and getting to know that student. I wonder if you could like paint us a picture of what this teacher's missing out on, like my old self, what was I missing out on versus having a teacher who, what you're saying, should be doing for these equitable teaching practices?

Tashana Howse: Awesome. So Jon, that was great. I'm going to answer that question. Just to answer your question, what are some teachers missing out on? Number one, it's like you missed the opportunity to really connect the content with the learner, because when we think about it and Jon, you said it well, is that we were math teachers because we are just really good at the numbers. We love the math, we just understand all that stuff. And we get excited about it, but there are so many kids that are not just naturally excited like we are. There are kids that, they're going to look at you and just be like, "Okay, what's the point? Why? Why am I learning this?" And so if we're not connecting them to it, then we're missing that moment. We're missing that opportunity to be able to connect the math to the learner.
And I'll say, when I was a freshman and I was in an algebra class, I learned a lot of, I'm really good with the numbers because we are good naturally, as math teachers. It's like I was going through the motions, just doing a set of procedures, a set of problems. And I felt sorry for the kid, that I got it. It was easy for me because I was in a regular math class. It wasn't advanced, it was regular. So you got this really bright, gifted math girl in a math class. But all of the people that were in that class, they were one or two grades ahead of me. I'm the only freshman. And I got it, I understand it all. So saying all that to say is that these kids were just learning a bunch of procedures and there was no connections, no anything.
And there was like behavior problems in the class. So this little shy, little, Black girl who was really good at everything, I just stayed in my desk and I just was in my little space until I reached that geometry class where this teacher connected it all. We were building cities with the content. So we discovered all this geometry and then we began to build cities. So think about what will you need in your city, for your city to operate? So then you start to think about all these different components. So that's what you miss out on. You miss out on the opportunity to connect the content that you are so excited about with the learners that are sitting in front of you. When you connect those things, then that's when we can provide equitable teaching practices and equitable assessments for kids. That's-

Kyle Pearce: I love that. And what I'm envisioning as well, and this is what came into my mind as you were describing that is it's like students, they pick up on those things, even if it's nuanced. But if you are learning about them and they feel like they're a part of it, and especially if they feel like the math, and how you're teaching, and how you're delivering, or how you're speaking directly to them connects to their learning, and you talked about how important it is to engage our learners. And you just think about that. If it just feels like this is the same lesson that Mr. Pearce does on every day 38 of this course, no matter who's in front of him, then they don't feel that connection.
But when they feel like the content is evolving based on what's happening in the classroom, and the students, what the students are doing, that is so important. And I don't know about you, Jon, but when you had mentioned the old Jon, it's the same thing for me. Going back, I didn't have that connection. And I think a lot of it, too, from a teacher's perspective when you're a new teacher, you're just so worried about doing it right. even though there is no right. And this, I think, is a great segue for us to maybe dive into some of those equitable teaching practices that you discuss in your talk.
And I know for me, as I do more learning around equitable teaching practice, culturally responsive pedagogy, a lot of these pieces for me, they connect back to the NCTM eight effective teaching practices. There's a lot of connections there. And I'm wondering if we were to dive into some of these, I know that you had shared nine. I don't know if you want to go through all nine or if there's just maybe a handful that you feel might be good for us to maybe dig into here based on the conversation on getting to know our learner, where do you want to take it in terms of some of those teaching practices?

Tashana Howse: Well, I think what we can do is definitely, we can focus on a couple of them. I think one is drawn upon the funds of the student's knowledge by definitely just getting to know them and inviting their ways of reasoning to the learning process. That's one of the practices that we can speak in terms of. And developing optimal learning zones within that environment, it's like establishing classroom norms in which, in order to develop an optimal learning zone. There has to be this thinking where we have the students, and their way of doing, and the teacher and his or her way of doing. And we come to a medium for how we can operate in this environment. We talk about, "This is who I am." And so it gets back.
It connects very nicely to culturally responsive teaching, because in the presentation I talked about how culturally responsive teaching has, there's two dynamics. We have the teacher characteristics and the instructional practices. And so the teacher characteristics lends itself to, number one, not only, this helps us to develop these optimal learning zones is number one, having an understanding of who you are, yourself, your own biases, what you bring to the table. A lot of times we think that we're not biased, but in actuality, we do bring certain things from our experiences to learning, and same, vice versa with our kids, to kids as well. So understanding yourself. And once you understand yourself and understand and know your biases, you began to combat those things, or to address those things within yourself. They allow you to understand your students a little bit more. It allows you to be a little bit more open minded. It allows you to accept that things are not going to always, doesn't always have to go your way.
And which, especially as a new teacher, we think that it has to be that way or the highway. And doesn't have to be that way all the time. So just having a set of teacher characteristics that allows you to be cultural competent, and then it allows you to get to know and understand your learners, understand the community that you're teaching in. That's going to support you in developing those optimal learning zones with students. So if we think about these nine practices, a lot of those nine practices that I provided in the presentation, they draw upon student engagement because student engagement is impacted by those equitable practices. Students, their potential is not sparked, they're not interested in the content sometimes when we are not utilizing them and taking the opportunities to make those connections. So these nine practices really are connecting with the students and getting to know them.
And I could mention a couple of them, one is monitoring how students position themselves in the classroom, monitoring how that happens, attending explicitly to race and culture, and what that dynamic looks like in the classroom, or for in your classroom. Position students, see students, positively position them as capable learners within the mathematics content and context. Ensure that you are pressing for their success, the, "That's what I'm here for, for you to be successful." So those nine practices are really about getting at the meat of the student body that is sitting in front of you, understanding who they are, observing them, understanding their communities, and so on and so forth, having a positive disposition towards them.
So that impacts student engagement. And so it helps to equip you to have a certain set of teacher characteristics. Those characteristics allow us to plan certain instructional practices. And so when we have teacher characteristics, the teacher characteristics, once they've developed, that is when we have equipped ourselves to be able to provide access and equity. But then the instructional practices is what lends us or provides us the opportunity to implement the access and equity. So we have to equip ourselves first, which are definitely about these nine practices, student engagement, equitable practices that we have here in the presentation, it allows us to be able to implement access and equity in the math classroom.

Jon Orr: Yeah. I think you bring up many great points. And one I just want to go back on a little bit is this idea that you're saying that we have to recognize a few things about ourself. This idea of this teacher characteristics are so important. And I think oftentimes when you go to professional development or see professional development, we talk about the pedagogy side that we often talk about here on the podcast. And you don't usually find in those professional development sessions that, "Hey, we have to actually look at what characteristics can we change or bring to the table that will actually put us in a better position to implement those pedagogical practices so that everyone can learn?" I think you've done a great job to say, "Look, there's two pieces here that we do need to think about." And when I think about, say my journey, like I had said before, I was that teacher that had a hard time with this transition into, "Hey, I have to work, think about kids in students versus what the rules are."
And you kind of said that. And we have to sometimes take a step back and go like, "What are the rules? It's my way or the highway. These are the things that we are going to put in place in our classrooms because we're going to make sure everyone follows these rules." And sometimes those rules don't need to always be applied, especially if we're trying to focus on the individual students. And I think that's one of the biggest things I've learned over the last 10 years of my teaching. And I know that, I think one of the hard things, I think new teachers, or even older teachers, or veteran, let's call them veteran teachers.

Kyle Pearce: Yeah, I was like, "Older teachers, Jon."

Jon Orr: Veteran teachers have.

Kyle Pearce: They're not going to like that.

Jon Orr: I think what I hear them say in the staff room or at a department meeting is that teachers stick to the rules no matter what. For example, following the late policy, someone's late and you write down, how many lates do you get? And you got to follow the late policy. You got to turn them in. They're going to get detention. They're going to get suspended for so many lates instead of thinking, "Okay, well, this student is late." Instead of just marking them late and saying, "You're late. Sit down, let's get going." It's like, "Why are they late? What's going on to cause that? Why don't we get to the root of this problem?"
But I think these teachers who are, "I've got to follow the rules." And I know that a lot of listeners of the podcast are working with teachers who are like that. And we got like, "Hey, we might need to change some things if we're going to steer towards helping kids versus always helping the mathematics." I think what those teachers are worried about is like this loss of control. Like, "If I give in on this one idea. If I give in on the late policy, then- "

Kyle Pearce: What's next?

Jon Orr: Yeah. "Where do I draw the line?" And I guess it seems hard for these teachers to go, "Okay, I can't do that because all of a sudden I've lost control. And now I don't have control of my class." And I know that what is really control, right, Tashana? It's like, "What do we say to these teachers or I guess the teachers who are helping these teachers?" What would advice would you say to a teacher who's like, "I can't do that. I can't focus on bending rules to help this kid because I'm going to lose control of my class."

Tashana Howse: Right. That is definitely a great question. And what it makes me think about is this idea of classroom management. So in our teacher education programs, we often talk about how important classroom management is, and ensuring that you have your policy, and you have these rules. But to be honest, it's hard to teach classroom management. And even at 22 years of teaching, it's hard to teach that. The best teacher is getting in front of the kids, figuring that piece out, and building your experiences from one year to the next. So what I would say to teachers that are rigid and have a hard time, and this is what I tell my students about classroom management as well, is first of all, you really got to deep within yourself, you just got to know, because I can tell you what my classroom management technique was and what my style was, but it is probably not going to work for you because you're not me.

Jon Orr: Yeah. Sorry. I just wanted to jump in, because I strongly have feelings for that. And I guess it comes down to social media, and teaching on Twitter sharing, and seeing activities and going to conferences. And a lot of times, you're right. It comes down to who you are, how do you present yourself to the students in the classroom? And it's hard to mimic that or change who you are. And so some activities work with that teacher because that's who they are. And some activities work with this teacher and that's who they are. It's like we have to all find our place in these activities or in these lessons to go, "Okay, we focused on bringing, learning out of students. How can I do that?" And I think you're making a great point, but saying, "Hey, we got a two pronged approach, here. It's about us helping these kids and also about the strategies to make that happen."

Kyle Pearce: And there's a couple things that popped into my mind as well. And it really comes down to, I think having, you used the word norms earlier, Tashana, and I think co-developing this with students and building that culture, I think goes a long way as well. This is something that, again, I never knew how to do. And like you had said, it's hard to teach pre-service teachers what that looks like and sounds like, but you know it, once it happens, once you've got there. And it's like if students believe that you truly care about them and that you want the best for them, in having norms such as, "Hey, listen, we always respect the speaker." It's not, "Hey, don't." It's not about, "Respect the teacher." It's about, "You respect the speaker in the class. You respect everyone in this classroom."
And as that happens, and of course some students are going to have bad days, and maybe slip up here or there, and those types of things. But I think if the rules aren't so cut and dry right from the start. And it's more about the big idea, if it's more about usually rules are put in place so that a certain thing happens. But if we focus on the bigger idea, then it gives you a little bit more leeway, I feel, so that you can be a little more responsive depending on who you're working with, the day they're having, or whatever it might be. It just gives you a little bit of that freedom.
And it doesn't have to be the same for everyone, that equity equal or equitable is like a very different sort of way to look, or fair, people who say, "Fair. I need to be fair to everyone. Well, what's fair?" I always think about that it's like, "Well, is it fair that some students got breakfast today and other students didn't. That doesn't seem fair to me either." So we have to look at things differently for different students.
So I know for me, I've got so many more ideas I want to ask you, but Jon and I are really, really bad at sticking to our timelines to try to ensure that we don't keep our guests too long. So what I think we might do for now, and then I'm hoping maybe you'll spend some time with us at our upcoming Virtual Summit and maybe get you back on for another episode after that as well. I'm wondering if folks are driving into work, or maybe they're driving home, or they're working out as they're listening to this episode. We've talked about a lot of big ideas here today. I'm wondering if there was one big idea or a big takeaway that you were hoping people get from this conversation here today, what would that be for the Math Moment Maker community?

Tashana Howse: Awesome. Take away for me would be that if we are not taking the time, or we as math teachers don't take the time to connect the content that we love so much to the learners or the group of students that we have in front of us, then we're missing the opportunity for them to love the content that you love.

Jon Orr: Awesome. That's a great takeaway. And I think that sums up so many things, the ideas that we chatted about here, making sure that we connect the content to the learner and that we talked about some ways that we could do that. Tashana, thanks so much for joining us here on Making Math Moments that Matter podcast. Like Kyle said, we're going to reach out to you with some details. We'd really love to have you back in 2022 Virtual Summit. So we'll make sure we get you some of those details. And like he said, well, hopefully you'll come back on and chat with us some more?

Tashana Howse: Awesome, would love to.

Kyle Pearce: Awesome. Thanks so much. Friends, we will have all links and details in the show notes. If someone wants to reach out to you though, just for those who are listening and don't make it to the show notes page, where could they find more of your work and reach out to you?

Tashana Howse: Yeah, reach out to me on Twitter, I'm @thowse, and that's H-O-W-S-E. Actually let me redo that. It's T-D as in Denise, Howse. So T-D, Howse, H-O-W-S-E_math.

Kyle Pearce: Love it. Fantastic. We will include that in the show notes, as well as some links to some resources and wonderful things that folks can do some learning with, my friend. And for those academy members who are listening, the replay of Tashana's session is in the academy. So make sure you go check it out if you haven't had a chance to yet. We definitely learned a ton and I hope everyone has learned a ton here with us today. So thanks for spending some time with us in the Math Moment Maker community, and we will see you soon. Okay, Tashana?

Tashana Howse: All right. See ya. Thank you.

Kyle Pearce: Take care.

Tashana Howse: For the opportunity.

Kyle Pearce: Have a great night.

Tashana Howse: Bye.

Kyle Pearce: Well, Math Moment Makers, I hope you enjoyed that conversation as much as we did. I'm telling you, I don't know if you could tell near the end, I was about to keep going and just continue digging in the rabbit hole, but we knew, you know what, the time was, right. We needed to wrap things up there, but I am super excited to bring Tashana back for this year's Virtual Summit coming up in November, 2022. And Jon, like you said on the intro to this conversation, lots of new learning here, deepening my understanding, and just thinking about things a little bit differently. I don't know about you, friends, at home, but what are you going to do in order to reflect on your learning here today to ensure that it doesn't wash away like footprints in the sand? Are you going to write a note? Are you going to write a social tweet? Are you going to chat about it in the teacher lounge tomorrow? Do something so that this learning sticks with you and you can start implementing these moves in your classroom.

Jon Orr: Yeah. And another great way to hold yourself accountable is to share it with some folks. And we got some opportunities for you to share, or some places you can share, or get some feedback from. You can always tag us @makemathmoments on social media, Instagram, or Twitter, or jump on over to our Facebook group and Math Moment Makers, K to 12. We've got that community in there. Questions are getting asked. People are helping each other out on lots of different topics. If you had a question from this episode, hey, toss it in there. And the community is going to come to your rescue.

Kyle Pearce: All right, my friends, if you have not hit the subscribe button yet, make sure you do so on whatever platform you're listening to or watching. Remember over on YouTube, you can hit that subscribe button and that notification bell, because not only do we post video versions of the podcast, but every week we have a short video with really, a pro tip, about planning your lesson about maybe trying a new protocol or structure, like how to run math talks effectively, or how to run a problem based math lesson. Head over to youtube.com/makemathmoments and hit that subscribe button.

Jon Orr: Show notes and links to resources and complete transcripts from this episode can be found @makeoutmoments.com/episode183. Again, that's makemathmoments.com/episode183.

Kyle Pearce: Well, my Math Moment Maker friends, until next time I'm Kyle Pierce.

Jon Orr: And I'm Jon Orr.

Kyle Pearce: Hi fives for us.

Jon Orr: Hey.

Kyle Pearce: And high five for you.

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