We interviewed Michelle, a real-life teacher who transitioned from the classroom to owning her own Mathnasium Center. Here's her story:
1. You were a teacher, right? What was it like teaching in a classroom?
- I taught for 24 years, mostly with kids from Kindergarten to 4th grade in the public school system.
- I loved teaching but was often frustrated by the pace I had to keep.
- It was such a helpless feeling knowing I had to move on to a new concept without regard to student learning.
2. What made you want to switch careers?
- I was participating in math training given through a grant for our school when I began having a real passion for good math instruction. It made such a big difference! I saw firsthand how much training is needed to be an effective math teacher.
- I learned about Mathnasium because so many of my 4th graders were struggling with math. Even with before & after school tutoring and RTI (response to intervention), they were not gaining traction. Some of my 4th graders were attending Mathnasium and I noticed a HUGE difference in their progress. I realize now the reason the Mathnasium kids were succeeding is that their math tutors went back and built up the missing foundational skills. There is no way around that.
3. Do you feel more effective as a teacher at Mathnasium or in a traditional classroom?
- Oh, hands down Mathnasium! I get to find out exactly where the wheels fell off for kids and go as slow or fast as the kids need. Man, every teacher out there wants to do that, but they do not have the resources or time.
- Change in confidence is the first thing we typically notice. That confidence manifests in so many different areas: on the court or field, advocating for themselves, or being willing to take risks.
4. If you could say one thing to parents who are considering bringing their kids to Mathnasium, what would it be?
- We are changing lives through math! Every child deserves to experience their hard work paying off and learning that they are built to do hard things.