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Redefining Math Instruction for School Leaders

Think back to your K-12 experience and what a typical math class looked like and sounded like. If you’re like us, the first things that probably come to mind are timed tests, fast fact flashcards, and worksheet after worksheet of practice problems - essentially, many hours spent practicing algorithms and computation. In comparison, what skills do students need to learn to be successful when they leave our classrooms? Teachers often say that students now need to be able to solve complex problems, think critically, and communicate effectively.

Want to Solve Silicon Valley’s Diversity Problem? These Philly Kids Know How.

Our classes can be a little scary for people who haven’t seen them before—it’s loud, organized chaos. Kids are rarely in their seats; they’re moving around, working with robots, sketching on computers, and having lively debates—just like they would be if they were working for Google or Facebook, or a lab at one of our awesome local universities. To set kids up for careers in innovative industries, we have to create innovative classrooms. It’s so important my students feel comfortable running their own lab and look to each other for answers, instead of relying on me.

The Teacher in Every Leader

I will never forget the feeling I had on the last day of institute when I realized the hundreds of thousands of students nationwide that would be impacted by our collective work. It was this idea that kept me inspired for a decade as an elementary teacher and moved me to extend my reach to whole school leadership.

Retaining our Top Teachers

I poured everything I had into my instruction, because I understood the gravity of the task before me. Every day, my students’ success depended on my ability to clearly communicate complex concepts and draw out untapped potential.

The Many Routes to Student Success

As a Teacher Leader at Mastery Charter Schools in Philadelphia, I support eight teachers who all have different teaching styles. I learned early on that not all educators teach like me or like the teacher next door. In order to effectively coach teachers, it’s imperative for me to get to know the individuals with whom I partner every day.