Teachers who participate in Math for America Boston report that it is a career changing experience that greatly enhances their classroom effectiveness and their students’ mathematical understanding.
The MƒA program has had a huge impact on my approach with teaching in the classroom. My approach to teaching has evolved to not only allowing the students to explore through mathematics, but allowing them the time to make the connections to prior concepts. In previous years, if students were not seeing connections, or got frustrated with concepts I would often give in and spoon feed them the answer. The MƒA program reminded me that students learn at different intervals, and sometimes they need time to sit with frustration and think about concepts for longer than I feel comfortable with. In the long run, however, I am helping my students to become thinkers and problem solvers instead of just regurgitating algorithms that have no meaning to them. Students are becoming invested in their own exploration and work together to solve problems not equations. My teaching has become more differentiated as well as an evolving path of mathematical growth.
I now have access to an entire network of talented, motivated, experienced teachers who not only produce effective mathematical resources and teaching methods but who inspire me to produce the same. My mathe-matical abilities and depth of understanding have been tremendously augmented and my ability to lead professional development for my colleagues and others has greatly improved.
Through PCMI, coursework at BU, and other professional development opportunities I have had through MƒA Boston, I see my own practice as a teacher improving year after year. I am consistently challenged while being given tools to really make a difference in the mathematical education of my students. This has allowed me to become a leader of math instruction both within my school and in a larger math-ed community…I have been asked to give PDs [Professional Development] not only at my own school but throughout the district as well... Although I have received some training in doing it, none of the training outside of MƒA has been content-based and thus none of the training I've received outside of MƒA has been at all useful in helping me to engage with other teachers in their practice.
My teaching has gotten better from my interactions with fellow math teachers. Learning from their practice and how they think about developing logical reasoning and mathematical skills has added to my repertoire as a teacher. Meeting with Professor CK Cheung at Boston College has been a great help to understanding the mathematical laws behind many of the algorithms and “tricks” we teach students. He has impacted my teaching helping me to instruct students in a way that will set them up to have a fundamentally sound math foundation, allowing my students to be successful in advanced math courses.
One of the best parts of Math for America Boston is the community that is formed by the fellows and Master teachers. It is great to know that I am part of a community where everyone is excited to about math and about teaching it. I really appreciated having a mentor through Math for America.
Math for America Boston has provided me with an education and community where I can continue to grow as a math teacher for years to come. …I feel privileged to be a part of this community…I feel that my professional development has continued in ways that it would not if I was not involved in the MfA Boston community because I am able to meet and discuss math education with other like-minded math educators.
I have become more reflective on how I can mentor and “teach” new and prospective teachers. This has led me to think much more about how to be more purposeful in terms of all aspects of my teaching.
MfA Boston has provided an opportunity to both deepen my understanding of math and of how students learn math. The program has encouraged and aided my pursuit of opportunities that allow me to explore higher level mathematics. Additionally, I gained invaluable tools to help teach in an urban school and help students develop an appreciation for math. I have found a very rewarding balance between my own mathematical investigations and my professional development as a teacher.