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The more that you learn, the more you realize you don't know - featuring Robert Kaplinsky

Updated: Oct 26, 2022

Hello EduMagicians,

I have Robert Kaplinsky a Math educator who developed the #observeme movement and @GrassrootsWS. If that isn't enough, he is also the co-creator of @openmiddle, #whyopenmiddle. You can find out more about Robert here: During this interview, Robert shares his teaching journey. He was emergency certified to teach in California, reflecting upon the experience that led to his credentials and a successful teaching career of 15 years. Today Robert is spearheading the Grassroots Workshops professional development series.

Observe me
  • What did you love about as a student and want to give that experience to other students?

  • What did you not like about teaching from a teacher's perspective and not want to do in your teaching?

  • Both ends of the observation spectrum (being observed and being the observer) is a powerful relationships.

  • Educators are sharing signs inviting people into their classrooms, asking for feedback in specific areas, and taking observations into the educators' hands.

  • Who knows more about teaching than the people that are you working with - your peers? Use collective knowledge.

  • Think about what feedback you want

  • Use how questions with a growth mindset

  • Check out #observeme on social

  • For help creating your sign, check out

Tips for the observer
  • Build a positive relationship

  • Use a 5 to 1 ratio - 5 positives for 1 area that needs improvement

  • Meaningful feedback with lots of positive reinforcement

  • Try to focus on 1 thing that the teacher or student can do better during the lesson

Tips for the observee
  • Be specific in what you want feedback about

  • State it with a "how" question

  • Focus on the "why" of the lesson

Open middle

Math teachers listen up. This section is for you! Sometimes the best problems have closed endings, but open middles. There is one answer, but you can get to it differently. This can add to the conversation about how the strategies are connected and have a deeper understanding. Find out more here: Also, check out #whyopenmiddle on social media to see how teachers embrace this practice.

Take control of your professional learning. Grassroots workshops provide flexible online workshops from educators that last for 6 weeks, but you have access to the content for 4 months! Learn a little bit, try it out and reflect. For more information, go to

Advice for future math teachers

EduMagic tie in
  • You need to get connected on social media. It is crowdsourcing of the best ideas out there from educators around the world

  • Need a digital presence and be online.

  • Get started by reading what people are doing out there in their classrooms.

Connect with Robert Kaplinsky

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