While I lurked for a couple years and then started my blog over a year ago - I don't think I was really part of the #MTBoS community until going to #TMC14. Since TMC14 I have experienced so much love and support. I have been going through hell in my personal life the last 2 years, and I can honestly say the the MTBoS has been a great support for me, even though no one knows that I have been going through anything. Friends are always there to encourage, bounce ideas off of, lament the many struggles of teaching, and to push you forward to become the best teacher you can be. With their support I think I have developed so much professionally the past year that I know I would not have been able to do alone. Teaching can be such an isolating profession, especially if you are trying innovative - or just different - ideas. The MTBoS lets you see that there are others like you, who understand what you are trying to do and will try to help or at least encourage you along the way. There is always something new to learn and someone to push back and help you refine your thinking. I only hope that as time goes on I can offer that kind of support and encouragement to other teachers. - especially young teachers, who like me have big dreams of teaching mathematics but not all the resources or know-how as a newbie.
So if you are out there lurking, don't be shy! I learned a lot by lurking, but so much more by becoming actively involved, especially on Twitter. Come join this amazing, nerdy, and supportive family as you journey on your path of teaching. =)