My American Idol (although she’s British)

I once had a friend who was obsessed with U2 to the point of ridiculousnous. If she saw Bono on TV, she would scream and tell everyone to be quiet so we wouldn’t ruin the opportunity for her to hear him sweat, like that was even possible! When her husband bought her concert tickets for her birthday, she collapsed on the floor in a gigantic heap, bawling. I never understood how anyone could be that obsessed with someone, especially someone they had never met and didn’t really know.

And then the MTBoS (math-twitter-blog-o-sphere) introduced me to JO BOALER. I became obsessed! I followed her on twitter @JoBoaler, questioned the appropriateness of friending her on Facebook, stalked her on, bought all her books, and competed in the #withmathican contest in an attempt to win a virtual professional development session with her!


Me and My American Idol!

Dreams of doing my PhD at Stanford, under her confident leadership, ensued (until I priced out said-degree and realized I may not be able to afford the $47,000 USD per year price tag), but dare to dream! Unlike my friend, I didn’t collapse on the floor bawling when I won the #withmathican contest (here’s my lesson), even though I had just won a chance to impress JO BOALER virtually. Instead, I envisioned a skype session with just me and Jo, hanging out, engaged in deep stimulating discourse about mathematical pedagogy. Two women, two moms, two inspiring mathematicians (well, maybe one inspiring and one aspiring!).

I nearly did break into tears when I realized that I wouldn’t be virtually face-to-face with my idol at all, and that the prize was enrollment in a MOOC (massive open on-line course) instead. Although I am super-excited to take the course (it starts in June), how would I impress my mentor and woo my way into Standford now?!

Now you’re probably asking, why am I obsessed with JO BOALER?

Well, the best way to explain it is to quote youcubed’s goal:

“Our main goal is to inspire, educate and empower teachers of mathematics, transforming the latest research on math learning into accessible and practical forms.”


You can get to know Jo Boaler yourself with these links below. I hope you are as inspired as I am…or maybe not…it is kind of creepy!

Jo Boaler on wikipedia: Wiki Jo Boaler

Math mindsets by Jo Boaler: Math Mindsets

What’s math got to do with it by Jo Boaler: What’s Math…

Youcubed at Stanford University:

Jo Boaler’s on-line course for teachers: How to learn math


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