First, the good news: I’m officially employed as a teacher-on-call. This is fantastic news but still pretty surreal; the month and a half between practicum and now feels like it’s been an eternity. But I’m sure that the first day or two of work as a sub will have an extreme “jump into the deep end” effect and I’ll remember how to swim in no time.

Today is a professional development (pro-d) day; for any non-teachers out there, that means a day allocated for teachers to get further training. A paid day, if you’re a full-time teacher; just a day without work for me. It has me thinking about the pro-d wishlist I already have stacked up, in the form of books I’ve started reading, books I want to start reading, video tutorials I haven’t finished working through, etc. So even if I don’t get through any of these today, I thought I’d get my entire pro-d backlog list down and make myself feel like, hey, I’m actually kind of disturbingly ambitious and I should be happy if I even get through a couple of these in the near future!

Books:

**Elementary Number Theory**, Underwood Dudley- Started reading / working through; learned about diophantine equations, congruences; lots more good stuff waiting. ps. it’s awesome having a book on your shelf by an author named “Underwood Dudley”. It’s also awesome having a number theory book you got for free, written in the 70’s back when number theory was still an area that was proud for being math-for-math’s-sake with no immediate practical application. (In other words, written before public-key cryptography.)

**The Colossal Book of Mathematics**, Martin Gardner- Just grabbed this from the library. It’s a great collection of Gardner’s recreational mathematics topics; I expect I’ll read through some select chunks and then return it. Definitely want to finish reading the bits on topology.

**Letters to a Young Mathematician**, Ian Stewart- getting this from the library today

Online pro-d

- Unity tutorials by Alec Holowka of Infinite Ammo
- Unity has huge potential for high school Info Tech / Game Design courses as it’s now 100% free!

- Google Sketchup video tutorials
- Getting to Grips with Latex – Mathematics (less on my radar as I’m no longer prepping Latex-based math worksheets in emacs’ org-mode, as I’m no longer prepping math anything at the moment)
- And of course, keeping up on a small pile of math/teaching/software-art/digital-media/etc blogs via Google Reader

Long term:

- Grab my wife’s Abstract Algebra text and learn myself some more maths.
- Topology: anyone recommend a great textbook or other resource to teach myself this? I keep loving the recreational bits I’ve seen here and there, but wonder if I’m only seeing an incredibly thin slice of the topic and/or if it’s still as interesting as it sounds if I tackle it more comprehensively.
- Eventually figure out the category theory -> monads -> functional programming connection that I caught a glimpse of last summer.

(I have this thing where I feel like I need to fill the gaps in my math training, if I’m going to turn myself into an excellent math teacher. I have a huge applied-math chunk of training via engineering, but I’m pretty weak on proofs and abstract algebras and all of the other upper-level things that aren’t calculus. I don’t know how far this will last, but I figure it’s a healthy motivation to nurture. Even if it only gets me a little ways into a number of advanced topics, I’m sure that’ll help.)