Joanie and Curtis host their first guest on this episode of Room to Grow. Robert Ahdoot taught high school math and found his strength in connecting with and engaging students, leveraging his enthusiasm and creativity to build strong relationships with students. He found that his humor, compassion, and excitement for mathematics content helped students overcome their anxiety about and struggles with learning math. Robert brings a contemplative and self-reflective spirit to our conversation, bringing in knowledge about the physiology of stress and the workings of our brains alongside his passion for human connection and relationships, making this a conversation unlike any other. We tackle issues that almost every math teacher has dealt with: supporting students who struggle, who are unengaged, and who experience math anxiety, causing them to underperform. Robert gives practical and actionable tips, and reminds us to not take ourselves too seriously along the way. You’ll leave wanting more, and you’ll get it! This episode is the first of two conversations with Robert. You won’t want to miss a minute of this conversation!Listeners are encouraged to consider these additional resources mentioned in the episode:Robert Ahdoot’s website, https://www.yaymath.org/ where you can find videos, courses, Robert’s blog and more to help inspire the students in your care;Robert’s Algebra 1 lesson on ratios and proportions for Texas Instruments’ “Smart Space” video series: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5itAHkH0YH4&list=PLQa_6aWmaC6AebhOVkKXC8Vags6D1TVaz ;YouCubed video on the importance of struggle: https://www.youcubed.org/resources/the-importance-of-struggle/ One of Robert’s favorite riddles: You have 9 marbles. One is slightly heavier than each of the other 8. Using a balance scale only twice, how can you determine which is the heavier marble? The answer is elegant and without "out of the box" thinking, which is generally welcomed of course, but no need here. No weighing marbles with your hands, dropping them, using water somehow, etc. You can determine which is the heavier marble using the balance scale twice.More about our guest, Robert Ahdoot: Robert Ahdoot is a math teacher and founder of YayMath.org, a free online collection of math video lessons filmed live in his classroom, in the studio, and even as street performance art, using iconic costumes and characters. Robert has given TEDx talks and travels to schools and conferences promoting his message of achieving positive learning through meaningful human connections. He is the author of One-on-One 101: The Art of Inspired and Effective Individualized Instruction, and the creator of online Algebra and Geometry math courses.Share your feedback, comments, and suggestions for future episode topics by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to connect with your hosts on Twitter and Instagram: @JoanieFun and @cbmathguy.