South Marshall Elementary
Teaching 18 years
Typically sees about 30 students per week
What made you decide to become an educator?
My mom encouraged me to take a course in education because I couldn't decide what I wanted to do with my life. I took the first class and knew after the first day that I wanted to be a teacher. It just all made sense! I remember being so excited that I finally had a passion for a career. I couldn’t wait to get into the classroom!
What excites you most about being an MAF Mathematics Intervention Teacher?
I get so excited when my students show progress and share what they learn with their peers. I love it when my intervention students become leaders in their own classrooms. When they can teach someone else, that’s when I know they truly understand the math. I love seeing that confidence in them!
What differences have you seen in your students since they began receiving intervention assistance?
I see my students gain confidence in their ability to do math. They aren't afraid to problem solve now, and they are more persistent. That's something we work on in my classroom. We don't give up but keep trying until we can find a solution.
What is one, favorite story or “a-ha!” moment you've had with one (or more) of your intervention students? Why is this your favorite?
I was collaborating with a kindergarten class and we were doing a Number Talk lesson. I posed the simple statement to the class "Show me everything you know about 5." The students started drawing tally marks, dot patterns, domino cards, the numeral 5, the word five, five frames etc. Then all of a sudden I heard this little voice say, "Wow! Look at all of that thinking we did!" They were so proud of themselves, and they should have been. They had shown us that day they had number sense.
What does the MAF and the Kentucky Center for Mathematics mean to you?
The MAF grant has given me the opportunity to have extensive training so I can be a better teacher in assessing and instructing my students. Being trained in the AVMR program allows me to pinpoint the areas of weakness for each of my students and then I know exactly where my instruction needs to be directed. That's why my students show such progress. My students are more than willing to work hard because they see their progress as well. Without the MAF grant, it would be difficult to have the necessary resources to meet the needs of our intervention students.
The KCM has provided support through professional trainings and also makes sure we are in contact with some of the best regional coordinators and instructors. I had several people that I felt I could call or email if I had a question or concern and they would help me with anything. Beth Meiman, Lisa Riggs, Dee Crescitelli, and Selisa Adams were all extremely helpful to me for my first year as a new MIT, and I cannot thank them enough! There are others that have helped as well through emails and technical support. It has made my job so much easier and I appreciate the assistance very much.
What advice would you give to a colleague or other educator if they had never attended a KCM professional learning experience before?
I would encourage other educators to attend the KCM conference if at all possible. It was the best experience for me as a MIT. Being able to choose the breakout session that met my needs was perfect, and networking with other MIT's was so helpful as well. I came back to school with so many ideas that I immediately used in my classroom and shared with my colleagues. I can’t wait to see what I learn at this year's conference!
What activities, organizations, hobbies, etc. do you enjoy doing outside of work?
Watching UK basketball and playing board games with my kids.
What is your favorite pizza topping?
What was your favorite childhood television show?
Got any good or favorite math jokes?