Angela Harding and Velicia Everett enjoy teaching math and making sure students are successful at Sampson Middle School. They enjoy making sure teachers succeed with their math lessons as well.
Along with Curriculum Coach Dr. Kelly Batts, Harding and Everett were selected to present at the 41st Annual North Carolina Association for Middle Level Education Conference in Greensboro. The presentation will focus on math professional learning communities, which is called Stairway to Math Heaven. It focuses on professional development and how it will impact student learning.
“Basically, we want to teach all the math teachers the importance of aligning their curriculum so they know what lies ahead, so they can stress those important key points to their students,” Harding said.
The event is scheduled for March 6-8. According to the organization, it’s one of the nation’s top event for middle school educators. Last year, more than 1,200 teachers from North Carolina and other states attended. Harding and the other educators are excited about the conference and began preparing for it last fall. To attend, Batts submitted a proposal for the conference.
Harding and Everett have taught together for five years at made several presentations about the program. It will not be their first time attending the Middle Level Education Conference, but presenting will be a first.
“That’s awesome,” Harding said. “We’re so enthused and excited.”
Participants are expected to know and understand concepts in math, in addition to thinking from a student’s point of view. A suggestion is also made to identify or create activities that will lead to mastery of math standards.
Everett and Harding believe the concepts can be applied to any grade level, not just middle school. With many years of experience with teaching math, they had a vision for Sampson Middle School and its math department to use professional development to make sure students can carry what they learned to the next level.
“How is what they learned in the seventh grade going to benefit them in the eighth grade and How is what they learned in the eighth grade going to benefit them in the ninth grade?” Harding questioned. “That’s how I became successful in teaching math because I know what lies ahead.”
Another important aspect is stressing the importance of how math is beneficial in the real world, a notion that a lot of students don’t have. The connection is made through work such as word problems.
Everett said a lot of students have roadblocks set up when it comes to be successful in math.
“That’s what I love about being in the sixth grade because it was a chance to change that and help them become successful in math for the first time,” Everett said.
“We have those who do like math and we have those who get discouraged because of a previous year,” Harding added. “On day one, we tell them that it’s a new year. You have to build their confidence in math.”
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.