My Manuscript, By the Numbers

Yesterday, I turned in the manuscript for Becoming the Math Teacher You Wish You’d Had: Ideas and Strategies from Vibrant Classrooms. This is a math education blog, so I’ll mathematicize this process.

581 manuscript pages, 208 figures.


13 chapters.


These 13 chapters.

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Observations of more than 40 highly recommended teachers to find my 4 anchors of this book: Heidi Fessenden, Jennifer Clerkin Muhammad, Deborah Nichols, and Shawn Towle. Enough observations of those teachers to make my hard drive look like this.

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(And those are just the observations I kept because they were book-worthy.)

6 libraries in my regular rotation. Support your libraries, people.

15,611 tweets. I joined the Math Twitter Blog-o-Sphere halfway through. I have no idea how I wrote the first half without it.

So many new friends. I’m not counting that one because, well, I’m not a jerk! Not everything important should be mathematized, after all. Doesn’t mean I’m not grateful.

There are the numbers that are technically countable but feel countless to me:

  • The emails, texts, and phone calls with my incredible editor, Toby Gordon. Oh man. Really big number.
  • Revision. I saw David Sedaris live and he prefaced a story by saying, “This is draft number 16.” Fantastic. I didn’t keep track like that because of the way I revise partial drafts. I’m no writing god like David Sedaris, but it was a lot.
  • Milligrams of caffeine. Don’t get me started.

Then there are the numbers I’d like to forget, but were part of this story:

  • 4 tumors.
  • 0 lymph nodes!
  • 4 cycles of chemotherapy.
  • 2 major surgeries, 1 minor one still waiting for me.
  • 262 doses so far from the 3,650 doses of Tamoxifen I’ll take.

This has been quite a journey.

I started this project in the fall of 2011. It grew, and grew, and grew in scope until I turned in this massive manuscript in February of 2016. For the last several months, everyone’s been waiting on me to finish. For the next several months, the team takes over. I get a front row seat and can’t wait to watch the manuscript go through editing, copy editing, typesetting, interior and exterior design, and production. My colleagues at Stenhouse will transform these efiles and manuscript pages into a beautiful, visual experience for the reader. It will be a big book with a lot of figures, and it will take time. Think fall of 2016.

Of course I’m excited to have this book in my hands. For now, I’m pretty excited to have held it in this form.



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0 thoughts on “My Manuscript, By the Numbers

  1. And I’ll be the second. I am sobbing…I am so, so proud of you for so many reasons! The greatest of which, my friend, is that you are my friend. Love your knowledge, your brilliance, love your guts and determination through all of this and forever more. Love you!

  2. What a journey you have experienced ! Wow! You are truly a champion. I read your table of contents and got goosebumps!! Can’t wait to hold that book in my hands! Congrats Tracy…you are truly an inspiration for math teaching and learning.

  3. Great news! Congratulations on completing this huge, creative and thoughtful endeavor. It’s awe inspiring that you’ve pulled all these ideas and experiences together. Can’t wait to see the finished books…. what an exciting process lies ahead! A gift for lots of teachers and teachers to be!

  4. I hope I am the 18th to wish you the highest level of congratulations possible. I am proud to have had the opportunity to watch you through this very long and extremely challenging process from a distance, yet so close. You didn’t mention being a wonderful wife, mother, daughter and daughter-in-law all along the way. L’Chaim ! ! ! To Life ! ! ! Love, Saba

  5. Congratulations, Tracy! I can’t even imagine the relief you feel! What an accomplishment! I can’t wait to read it and share it! Thank you for caring so much about kids that you want to change the world for them!

  6. Can’t wait to read this–through following your blog posts, tweets, and hearing you speak at conferences you have introduced me to the world of elementary math ed. I have come to realize I’ve been missing out all of these years by just sticking to resources specific to high school math–thanks for opening my eyes to a whole new world!

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