I've spent the last several years teaching mathematics in a 7-12 junior high and high school in a small town north of Kansas City, Missouri. My primary focus was 7th and 8th grade mathematics and Algebra I. I enjoyed working with the students, and it was important to me to help them form a strong mathematical foundation and to build their mathematical abilities and confidences.
My desire is to make mathematics approachable and relatable for students. I know not every student will love mathematics, but I work my hardest to help students develop basic competencies and at the very least to rid them of their fear of math. To achieve this, I incorporate an active pedagogy, and I partner math with art, writing, and other pop culture.
My first year teaching my students honored me with a pie in the face by donating the most canned goods in my name. A fun tradition to have at the school and an experience I won't forget! Most recently, I had two projects funded, "Outdoors with Math in the National Parks" and "Mathapalooza in the Mornings." For "Outdoors with Math in the National Parks," I collected data, photographs, and ideas from several national parks in the west to build into my classroom curriculum, focusing on mathematics and literacy. The funding of "Mathapalooza in the Mornings" allowed me to purchase a variety of math games, puzzles, and projects for students. I, then, opened my classroom early twice a week, giving students a place to congregate and play games, or maybe get a little extra help. All items were chosen to help students explore mathematics, work on problem solving, and stimulate critical thinking -- a great way to wake up their brains!
After graduating from a rural high school in Missouri, I traveled to the suburbs of Chicago for my undergraduate experience. I received a Bachelor's of Business Administration, majoring in Management and Organizational Behavior, as well as minoring in Mathematics and Psychology. Once I discovered I wanted to be in the classroom teaching, I attended Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Missouri and received my Master's of Education with a concentration in Secondary Mathematics.
I'm from a small town and a big family. It's taken me awhile, but I've found my home in teaching mathematics. While teaching is my career title, I've long had a creative side. I'm excited to have reached a point in my life where I'm pursuing both math and art as careers. I finally channeled the spirit and confidence of my second grade self that sold beaded rings on the playground (3 cents each or 2 for a nickel)!