Lee County Elementary
Teaching 25 years
Typically serves about 25 students per week
What made you decide to become an educator?
I grew up very poor and, even though neither of my parents graduated high school they stressed the importance of education. I was lucky enough to have some great teachers who helped me to further see that a good education was the way out of the poverty I’d grown up in. I wanted to be like those teachers. I became an educator to help students like I had been to see the importance of education. I wanted to be for other what my teachers had been for me.
What excites you most about being an MAF Mathematics Intervention Teacher?
I LOVE learning new strategies and ideas to bring back to my students to help them learn and love math! I probably annoy my fellow teachers, and basically anyone who will listen to me, talking so much about what I learned at this or that training and how much it can help our students. I’m also excited to continue to learn new things so I can become a better MIT and help students even more!
What differences have you seen in your students since they began receiving intervention assistance?
I have seen students really enjoy math and get excited about it! I have seen them become more successful and truly comprehend what they are doing. I have also seen students become confident and start to feel that they can be good at math when they didn’t think they could before.
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 overheard an intervention student that I’d had for a little while telling a new intervention student, “Oh, you’ll really like this class because we learn math and it’s actually fun!” I loved this because I want kids to be excited about math and look forward to learning it. When I see my intervention students in the hall they always ask, “Are you getting me today?” because they look forward to math! Yep, the kids that didn’t feel they were good at math and didn’t like math are now looking forward to it. I consider that a win!!
What does the MAF and the Kentucky Center for Mathematics mean to you?
For me, [the] MAF has provided an opportunity to learn things about math that I never knew. I am a much better math teacher than I was before becoming an MIT and I only wish I had learned a lot of the things I have learned through [participation in the] MAF sooner.
I feel like KCM is so supportive. I didn’t just go to a training for MIT and was then left to sink or swim on my own. There were weekly webinars, follow-up visits with my regional coordinator, and collegial team meetings. If I contacted someone by email, they always got back to me quickly. There was great tech support for Abacus or other technology related needs. I never had an issue that wasn’t addressed quickly.
What advice would you give to a colleague or other educator if they had never attended a KCM professional learning experience before?
Find one and go now!! They are, hands down, the best I have ever been to. I don’t usually look forward to trainings and meetings but I look forward to those from KCM. The people that do KCM professional learning experiences really know their stuff and do an excellent job of presenting it in such a way that you can go right back to the classroom and put it to use. I could go on and on about KCM professional learning experiences because I am that impressed by them!
What activities, organizations, hobbies, etc. do you enjoy doing outside of work?
I love to read in my free time. I don’t have a ton of free time because I have a 14-year-old daughter who participates in a million, or at least it feels like a million, extracurricular activities and I spend most of my time chauffeuring her to and from her activities and cheering her on.
What was your favorite pizza topping?
Pepperoni and sausage.
What was your favorite childhood television show?
Got any good or favorite math jokes?
Who was the first math student? Add-‘em (Adam).