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Instant Relevance: Listening To My Own Advice by @mathdenisNJ

denis sheeran listening to my own advice
Instant Relevance: Listening To My Own Advice by @mathdenisNJ


Listening To My Own Advice

Guest Post by Denis Sheeran (@mathDenisNJ)
Just over a month ago my book, Instant Relevance, Using Today’s Experiences to Teach Tomorrow’s Lessons, was published by Dave Burgess Consulting. Since then, I’ve had an amazing opportunity to connect with countless educators who are also passionate about finding ways to connect the content they teach to the lives of their students in a way that deeply engages students. I’ve heard from so many teachers about their desire to find what matters to students and bring it into their classroom, and have received Thank You’s from people across the country for sharing the ideas in my book.

Every author hopes that their words reach people in a meaningful way and I hope that Instant Relevance continues to reach people and transform their classrooms into places their students are aching to get back to every day.


My own daughter is 12 years old, which places her square in the heart of TweenLand, which I understand is a very poorly attended area of Epcot Center. And as a deeply entrenched pre-teen, she’s recently become a huge fan of “dabbing.” If you don’t know what a dab is, here’s my daughter doing it.

dabbing denis sheeran

I get the sense from my daughter that she feels like she invented Dabbing by the ownership she’s taken of this motion. She still thinks this no matter how many times I’ve pointed out that it’s all over the internet, and that Usain Bolt did a move like it years ago,

Usain Bolt, 2012 olympics
Usain Bolt, 2012 Olympics
hulk hogan
Hulk Hogan 1984

And that Hulk Hogan did it years before that

I’ve been getting pretty annoyed by the constant “living room dabbing” situation, until this happened.


i calculated the angle of my dab

Let me draw your attention to the number of retweets and likes. Anicca has just over 2000 followers. This tweet went much much farther than that. So unfortunately for my personal opinion, dabbing matters. Dabbing is relevant, and it may not be for long. Anicca got it right, and Dave pointed it out. I didn’t listen to my own advice which I’d written about and shared with people for over a month now, so I missed out on this opportunity.

There are three things I take away from this situation.

First, people everywhere are creative individuals, able to make interesting and relevant connections every day, and hopefully, they also have twitter accounts.

Second, my book has affected my publisher in a way that he is connecting other people’s connections back to it, creating a second level of relevance in education!

Finally, I’m still learning from everyone I meet and from many I haven’t. I’ll listen to my own advice and allow every opportunity, every door, every fad, to be a potential way to connect to students.

And now, my daughter has some dabbing math to do. Thanks Annica 🙂

Instant Relevance

Instant Relevance, Using Today’s Experiences to Teach Tomorrow’s Lessons was released in July on Amazon and was ranked the #1 New Release in Math Teaching Materials for its first month.


Denis hosts a weekly twitter chat discussing relevance in education at the hashtag #MakeItReal and will begin a 7 week Book Study on Instant Relevance started September 7, 2016. Join the conversation!


You can connect with Denis on Twitter, Google +, and on his website denissheeran.com

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