Author Archives: Anna Sannes

About Anna Sannes

"Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid. For the Lord God is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation." -Isaiah 12:2

A Love Letter from my Governor

Have you ever had some extra time and decided to get nostalgic by reading through old things that make you happy?

Please join me. Read this: http://www.leg.state.mn.us/archive/vetoes/2013veto_ch99.pdf

Wikipedia (obviously the ultimate source on love letters) claims that a love letter can be “anything from a shot and simple message of love to a lengthy explanation of feelings” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Love_letter). The letter I’m referencing is a short and simple message of facts and feelings that I happen to love, so I’m going to call it a love letter. Continue reading

Almost Heaven, West Virginia

Photo courtesy Almost Heaven Habitat for Humanity

When this post publishes, I’ll be a few hours away from my normal residence, devoid of telephone or email, and hanging with high school students. No, I’m not creepy, and I’m not a luddite. My side job is working as the Children and Youth Programs Associate for a church in DC. As part of a larger group of churches, we’re headed to Franklin, West Virginia to work with a Habitat for Humanity affiliate for a week.

Whatevs, right? Maybe you did some Habitat for Humanity stuff for your college application or at you at least know how to use a hammer (sure, IKEA counts). Why is this a big deal? What makes it so cool? All of these reasons: Continue reading

Things I Never Thought I’d Say: Reflections on Teaching as a Profession

  1. I love teaching.

    I don’t think I even said this as I considered teaching. It came about more naturally. I was spending all of my “spare” time (who really has spare time in college?) working with kids in schools and after-school programs. I loved the education classes I took, and everyone told me I would be a good teacher. I wasn’t sold, but my government degree made for a lot of vague job possibilities, many of which I had no interest in. Teaching was a “real” job with an income, and it would allow to work for something I cared about, but it wasn’t something I went into with a passion for the profession.Fast forward two years, and I love so much of my job. On a daily basis, I get to think creatively to solve hundreds of problems. I spend my day running around using a variety of skills: constructing posters, facilitating discussions, counseling hormonal teenagers, and manipulating algebra and geometry to make them work for me. I love it.

  2. I am physically worn out from teaching. Continue reading

Turn that Math Frown Upside Down

“I’m not a math person,” is quite possibly one of my least favorite phrases to hear. I rarely hear it from children. Instead, I hear it from adults, who repeatedly express to children that some people are not capable of learning math. When an adult says, “Maybe you’re just like me and you’ll never learn math,” to a child, particularly one who may have struggled with a recent concept or does indeed have a learning disability involving math, it reinforces the idea that math is some elite field only accessible to those with a certain innate understanding…math people.

That’s crap.

Mathematics is not about the ability to replicate a particular skill by following a set algorithm. Math is about making sense of problems and persevering to solve them. Math is about reasoning, developing the ability to both decontextualize to draw generalizations and contextualize to probe into the nitty-gritty details of a situation. Math allows us to understand relationships through numbers, graphs, and tables. Continue reading

Challenge Accepted.

ccssTwo years ago, I started my career as an educator flooded with rumors of what the “Common Core” would do to our classrooms and our schools. What may sound like an ab workout to those outside the education world is ultimately a set of standards encompassing what students should be able to do from kindergarten through high school. Thus far, 45 states and DC have opted to transition to the Common Core State Standards, though some are getting cold feet when faced with daunting obstacles instead of Race to the Top incentives.

There’s been a lot of controversy over whether the transition to the Common Core is a good one, with valid arguments on both sides. With the Common Core in place, it will be infinitely easier for a teacher from Maryland to collaborate with a teacher from Georgia or Oregon. Suddenly we’re working towards the same goals defined in the same language. Continue reading