Kate Muelling, Providence, RI firstname.lastname@example.org
Three years ago, I had the opportunity to attend CPM’s Academy of Best Practices (ABP) in Seattle. What I thought would be one week of life-changing professional development has now evolved into several years of professional growth and camaraderie. My strongest memories of participating in ABP in 2019 are of excitement and eagerness to apply everything I had learned over the course of the week. My cup was overflowing with strategies, pedagogy, and (of course) fun math problems to bring back to my classroom. I do mean overflowing – we learned so much in such a short time, that there was no realistic way I could assimilate everything I had learned into my teaching practice.
I was overjoyed when I learned that I had been chosen to return the following year as a mentor. Returning as a mentor would give me the opportunity to experience everything all over again! My excitement lasted only a couple of months. In 2020, ABP was canceled due to Covid, and then canceled again the following year.
Finally, the third attempt in 2022 saw ABP revived. As the mentor, I was in the unique position to support the educators who came to participate while also re-exposing myself to all of the knowledge I had seen the first time around. My cup was filling again, giving me another opportunity to further develop my teaching practice. Over the span of the week, the entire ABP cohort gained valuable insights into teaching with equity, increasing cognitive demand for our students, developing a growth mindset in our students, and so much more. Not to mention all of the fun math we did together!
There is a very special atmosphere inside of something like ABP; participants, leaders, and mentors alike all coming together as learners to hone our craft, provide support for each other, and develop life-long partnerships to continue helping each other grow. I feel incredibly lucky to return to ABP for one more summer in 2023, so I can feel this magic once more.