AIMS Center

Second Career Teachers are Awesome!

Being a teacher is rewarding, and hard work, and an amazingly rewarding profession. Teachers play a hands-on part in the future. Do you know anyone who decided to become a teacher, but after having had a professional career in a different field? I have spent some time talking to individuals who are now teachers and are also in a second career. Their stories intrigue me.

I recently met a former nurse, a former soldier, a former accountant, and someone who was formerly in retail sales, but all of these people chose to change careers and become teachers. They all have individual reasons for changing careers, but it is the passion for knowledge, for teaching, and the great work ethic they bring with to teaching that I heard echoed in their stories. That is what I love.

At AIMS we are so very lucky to have a second career colleague as a member of our National Cadre of Facilitators. Donna Barton is a Florida educator who we found through our national search for workshop Facilitators in 2016. She was one of the 10 invited to join our team (out of 189 applicants). Donna’s first career lasted over two decades. But still, she had a yearning to teach. So, at a nontraditional age she went back to university life and immersed herself in a pre-service teacher education program. Success!! Donna now teaches with passion and has a zest for excellence. Donna uses AIMS math and science tasks in her classroom and knows the power of building strong content knowledge through a conceptual approach, with hands-on manipulatives for understanding. We at the AIMS Center believe she is a wonderful asset to our National Cadre of Facilitators.

Donna constantly gives back to the profession; she is involved and volunteers at the local and state levels. Once again, AIMS is lucky to have her. Teachers are their own best advocates. I hope when you hear of someone who is considering the teaching profession for a first or second career, that you will spend some time encouraging and even mentoring them. After all…  teaching is cool!

An Update

Things are really hopping around the AIMS Center. Everyday becomes better than the last. I wake up and I’m challenged and excited by what I get to do during the day. As most people know, we really want to find a way to share what research tells us about children’s construction of number with classroom… Continue Reading

Composite Units

Counting-on is one of the things I have come across in Les Steffe’s research that is crucial, but not necessarily an obvious goal to have for students. It would seem that if a student could count-on (ex: given the problem 6+5, would start at six and count-on five more rather than starting from 1 and… Continue Reading

Meet the Children Where They Are: Episode 3

Narrator: “Last time on Meet the Children Where They Are: Has Mr. Unnamed nerdy-looking stereotypical math Research Associate (RA) found 5-year-old Bob’s zone of potential construction (ZPC)? Bob has counted 12 rocks and he came up with three different solutions.” (from title screen — video of construction site with concrete truck backing up) (fade to… Continue Reading

Deliberate Practice

Along with a passion for mathematics education, I am also a pretty big sports geek.  Some of it is the numbers that go along with every sport.  For me, it started as a kid growing up in Oakland with easy access to both the Oakland A’s and the San Francisco Giant’s baseball teams, and trying… Continue Reading

Science Happens

Contrary to what most teachers might say, I think it is easy to teach science every day in the classroom. Yes, it may be a subject that gets loud and sometimes messy in your classroom, but just the same as needing to learn to be a lifelong reader or mathematician, the same goes for science.… Continue Reading

Student Adaptive Pedagogy

When our Director of Research attended the Psychology of Mathematics Education – North American conference this year along with a couple of our Senior Researchers, they had the opportunity to meet Dr. Ron Tzur from the University of Colorado in Denver.  Like many others that we have now begun communicating with, Dr. Tzur studied with… Continue Reading

The Forgotten Thirteen

Did you know that the number thirteen is a frequently skipped number in a young child’s early number sequence? According to Karen Fuson’s research in “Children’s Counting and Concepts of Number,” the numbers 13, 14 and 15 are the most consistently omitted numbers. As we work with children at our partner school sites, we are… Continue Reading