My algebra support class started with an engaging debate on the parity of zero. Most of the room had reached consensus that it was even but one student was holding firm to “zero is nothing so your argument is invalid.” Kids were coming up to the board and asking each other if they could try to convince him. It was awesome but then got a bit boisterous as the one kid decided to dig his heels in. I had the class move on and they demanded to know what the answer was. I smiled and replied, “What do you think?”
The rest of class went fine but they were still pretty chatty. At the end of class one student came up to me and patted me on the shoulder saying, “It was a tough class but we did okay.” It was adorable and I’m still not entirely sure if he meant that I did okay (balancing control and freedom) or they did okay (getting work done despite getting sidetracked) or both. But either way he was right, half the times I had to stop a discussion to get everyone to listen they were talking about the problem (just not sharing with the whole class). There was great math happening today, even if it was exhausting to manage.