I currently hold a bachelors of Math and Secondary Education Math from Penn State University and a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction from Purdue University.
From an early age, I loved school. I would take extra worksheets from my teachers and play school with my friends. In fact, I was always volunteering to help my teachers and classmates. Later on in Middle School, I realized that math came rather easy to me. However, I also came to the realization that this was not everyone’s experience. I continued to assist my friends and classmates in math, and I loved finding new ways to explain the concepts. The “Aha moments” when concepts finally clicked brought me great joy.
I am currently in my 4th year teaching in Chesterfield, Virginia. I taught 8th grade Algebra and this is now my 3rd year teaching 7th grade math. This year, I have taken on the role of planning and organizing the 7th-grade Honors Math Curriculum. I teach two sections of Middle School Math 2 and one second of 7th grade Honors Math.
I am in the field of education because I love what I do. I enjoy the challenge of finding and creating new ways to teach each math concept and creating engaging activities. While teaching virtually is hard, I like the challenge of finding how to make in-class activities digitally accessible. In addition, I greatly enjoy learning about new technology resources and teaching strategies to incorporate within the curriculum. I also love working with middle schoolers. My students grow so much in one school year. The students begin to transform into confident and responsible learners as the year progresses. Many of my students start the year with this idea that they will not be able to learn mathematical concepts. For me, the most rewarding moments throughout the year are when my students begin to realize that they can become mathematical thinkers. These lightbulb moments are the most rewarding moments for me.
My school has a diverse student population. Many of my students do not have resources or supports at home to help them succeed. Oftentimes they have to help babysit after school and can’t do homework. With this in mind, I do not assign homework except for finishing what they didn’t do in class. I also make myself available for extra help throughout the day. This allows all students to succeed in my class no matter what resources or responsibilities they have at home.
Additionally, I have noticed that our gifted programs and honors classes do not match the diversity of our school. While I do not teach in our gifted program, I have worked on educating myself on how to identify giftedness in overlooked populations. As a math teacher, I am also passionate about the need for women and diversity in STEM. I make sure in my class students learn about women in STEM such as the ones from Hidden figures.
I hope that all students have the resources and support to find their own passions. I want them to know that they can be successful in whatever field they want. I also want students to erase this idea that they are “bad” at math. Every student is capable of learning. However, we must let all of our students learn in their own way and pace. The old way of teaching math simply doesn’t work because it leads students to believe that only certain students are capable math-thinkers. With confidence, any student can become a math-thinker.