How are you involved in education?
Right now I am a Curriculum Support Coach in a K-5 school where I get to help teachers and students do awesome things. For the past 16 years I was a 5th grade teacher. Although I taught all subjects, mathematics is my specialty. I was recognized by the White House with the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching (PAEMST) earlier this year.
What's your ideal school or classroom like?
The ideal school is one in which teachers utilize ideal pedagogy. I've worked with teachers in abject poverty in the Kibera Slum of Nairobi who have an amazing 21st Century classroom despite having 50 kids jammed into a tiny room with a dirt floor, no windows, one laptop, and an internet connection. And I've been in classrooms flush with technology and every resource imaginable where teachers are flipping textbook pages and doing test-prep with kids. Learning is born of inspiration. Inspiration comes from passion and the autonomy to pursue that passion. We need to focus on making sure every classroom has enough inspiration. Then we can worry about all the other stuff.
If you were to lead a session at Edcamp USDOE, what would it be about?
Deep Math Understanding
Changing the Policy Narrative in the US