The hard part with new initiatives is keeping them going. Sometimes building and maintaining momentum is easy. Five years ago I decided to make notebooks a thing, for example. Am I as fired up about them as I was years ago when I figured everything out? Not exactly. But it's still an idea that needs my support. It continues to be a proven system. It'll last for decades. Take something different, like technology implementation. How do you keep up a strong technology presence for five years? ten years?

Ditching procedures if they no longer motivate you is easy. The thing about school years is your students move on, the knowledge of your procedures with them. My current groups are clueless about how things worked years ago.

What about bigger, organizational goals? When I took over Calculus I had some problems I wanted to solve. By accident it spawned Varsity Math.

New ideas are awesome, but then you realize they come with maintenance. Varsity Math is now a living thing that needs attention or it'll just disappear. How do we make it more permanent? A permanent reminder to myself "HEY KEEP DOING THIS THING."

There was a neglected corner down the hall that never had anything interesting on it. A random gap between unused lockers. For years and years I had visions of putting some kind of installation in place, some legacy to the work I love. Other parts of the school have great art installations from decades past, I wanted something to contribute to the line up. The Estimation Wall was a good first step, but temporary.

Presenting the Hall of Fame.

Painting begins. A day later random passersby are buzzing about the maroon wall.

Piecing together the enormous stencil created with a few hundred 8.5x11 pages.

Arguably the easiest part of stencil construction.

"They painted the wall? What are they doing?" "They" have something big in mind...

Some wall finish technicalities required improvisation to draw the 80" circle.

Hours of letter cutting, taping, and gluing we're ready for the final step.

All done!

This project was completed off and on from October 6 to October 31. It involved the effort of a couple dozen students in my Calculus classes working on random bits at a time. One crew did the maroon base coat. Another did the initial assembly of the letters into something coherent. Others cut and glued the assembly onto stencils boards. Others spent hours hand cutting each letter from the boards. And a final group jumped in for white paint and touch ups. In case you were curious, the capital letters are 2051.94 points tall.

It's awesome, and it's ours.

Class pictures of each Varsity Math crew (including Summer Camp) will go here as well as a notice board of students who pass the exam. I want decades of classes on here.

Coincidentally I saw a former student from the original crew right before this was completed and I showed her pictures of this. She couldn't believe what she help start.

AuthorJonathan Claydon