Jennifer from North Carolina
My name is Jennifer Hardin and I am in western North Carolina. More specifically, I live in Hendersonville and teach in Sylva. I currently teach math to 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students at a lab middle school run by Western Carolina University. The NC legislature recently mandated universities to open and maintain their own lab schools “to provide an opportunity for research, demonstration, student support, and expansion of the teaching experience and evaluation regarding management, teaching, and learning.” I came on board in August 2018 at the beginning of the 2nd year of the school’s existence. Having access to university resources and the “next level” collaboration has been a great experience. In addition to teaching, I also serve as mentor/instructional coach for preservice teachers placed at the school for internships.
My background is varied, but within the education world. I earned my undergraduate degree in Elementary Education with a concentration in mathematics and taught grades 1 & 3 in a large public elementary school before shifting to private Pre-K for a year. I then returned to the full-time classroom, teaching 5th grade at a small K-8 grassroots charter school. I left the classroom to be a stay at home mom and returned to the same school a few years later, this time in 1st grade. Three years in I jumped at the opportunity to shift to middle school math in the same school. Six years later, I decided to leave the classroom to pursue a masters degree. During this time, I picked up a few sections of math as an adjunct at the local community college and also went back to teaching 4-year olds part time before landing at the lab school after graduation.
I joined the Making Math Moments Academy for a couple of reasons. First, I was super impressed with the online workshop I took this semester and want to be able to access the coursework in the future. I also wanted access to new courses and resources that will allow me to increase my ability to engage my students who, in addition to harboring negativity toward math, are at risk in more than one way. I have struggled to move the needle with these kids even a tiny bit as their views on math (and school, in general) are deeply ingrained. The third reason I joined the Academy is because I would like to have access to these resources as I pursue my future career goals of instructional coaching and providing professional development in mathematics to teachers.
I am excited to be part of this community and I am looking forward to continued growth on my own teaching journey and through collaboration with other members.
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