Mariah Vandertie, Luxemburg-Casco, WI, email@example.com
I had the pleasure of serving as the junior mentor for the Academy of Best Practices 5.0 at Seattle Pacific University in August. As a participant in ABP 4.0, I was inspired to apply for such a leadership role because I discovered so much about myself, my teaching practice, and my potential as a leader in those five days. I left Seattle recharged in my teaching practice last summer as a participant, and this year as a mentor was no different.
The week focused on various topics including professionalism, cognitive demand, supporting productive struggle, equity, and technology. We launched ABP by diving into Principles to Action with Diane Briars. Participants explored the effective teaching practices and professionalism in mathematics. On day two, we learned about cognitive demand with Aaron Brakoniecki. Participants exposed themselves to various types of tasks with high or low potential for cognitive demand. Wednesday was a lesson in rough draft talk and how to support productive struggle in the classroom using Tom’s Problem. Participants tackled a complex task involving lighting candles through the effective use of study team teaching strategies. Dr. Kristopher Childs spoke about injustices, inequities, and access issues in the classroom on Thursday. We ended the week with a workshop facilitated by Eli Luberoff, CEO of Desmos, that wowed all participants as we learned about all the online graphing calculator had to offer.
As I summarize my five days at ABP 5.0, the one aspect I cannot quite put into words is the support system that undoubtedly builds over the week. As a participant, and now as a mentor, I have learned the importance of collaboration in this profession. Teachers can have a great education, pedagogical knowledge and mastery of their content, but what ABP always reveals is that we are truly smarter together than we are apart. It is because of this revelation that I will continue to learn from the Academy of Best Practices and collaborate with the professionals that I have met there.
Educators are not meant to work in isolation and ABP is a great place to develop a support system that may not exist for you in your district. I cannot find the words to properly articulate how reinvigorating the Academy of Best Practices is for all involved. I am grateful to CPM for allowing me to grow as a mathematics teacher and to help other novice teachers refine their teaching practice. I encourage you all to reach out for more information regarding our new teacher ABP and our veteran session. It is an experience of a lifetime that will impact your classroom and the education of your students for years to come!