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News from 2022-2023

Posted: June 12, 2023

Math Educators Spending Week Honing Their Skills

Renowned Stanford professor facilitated Monday’s session.

Stanford Professor Jo Boaler, wearing a red shirt, with several educators at the Inspiring Mathematical Minds conference on Monday.

Stanford Professor Jo Boaler, wearing a red shirt, with several educators at the Inspiring Mathematical Minds conference on Monday.

Summer break is in full swing, so why, then, are scores of APS teachers engaged in deep conversations about math at Berna Facio?

Nearly 280 dedicated mathematics educators from APS, other New Mexico districts, and charter schools are participating in a weeklong conference exploring how best to teach math to K-12 students. The Inspiring Mathematical Minds conference wraps up at noon on Friday.

“Our Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction, Joyce Gormley, and her team organized this conference to build excitement around mathematics instruction and for elementary, middle, and high school teachers to be able to engage in rich mathematical tasks, collaboration, and have discussions,” said APS Chief of Schools Channell Segura, who welcomed the math educators on Monday morning.

Renowned Stanford Professor Jo Boaler facilitated Monday’s Session. Boaler specializes in mathematics teaching and learning – specifically, how different teaching approaches impact student learning, how to teach math for a growth mindset, and how equity is promoted in mathematics classrooms.

Other keynote speakers and their topics are:

  • Dylan William, “Teacher Quality: What is it, Why it Matters, and How to Get More of It”
  • Howie Hua, “Finding Joy in Mathematics”
  • And Sheryl Chard, “The Educator as Artist”

New Mexico United’s Peter Trevisani will speak on “The Key to Building a Community” on the conference’s final day. All of the sessions are at Berna Facio Professional Development Center.

Improving student outcomes in math is one of four goals approved by the APS Board of Education earlier this year. Among APS’s strategies for reaching that goal is prioritizing professional development so that teachers have the skills to get students where they should be in math. Currently, only about one in five eighth-graders is proficient in math.

During her remarks to participants, Segura stressed the importance of educators having access to high-quality instructional materials to ensure that common core standards are being taught in an effective way. But she also relayed her own experience as a student.

“I felt successful in math because I had great, passionate teachers who believed in me and believed that I and my classmates could be successful in math,” she says. That was, she adds, until Algebra II when she ended up with a teacher who didn’t share the same attributes as her previous math instructors.

“My math teachers made a difference,” Segura says.

The Inspiring Mathematical Minds conference is being put on by APS Curriculum & Instruction.