The purpose of this project is to continue best practices identified in the 2016-2017 Collaborative and deliver new opportunities for teachers to strengthen content knowledge and instructional skills to enhance student engagement in mathematics. The goals of this project are to: (1) continue providing viable opportunities for a cohort of mathematics teachers to participate in high quality, sustained, and intensive professional development, (2) foster teachers’ intellectual growth and dive-deeper into research-based strategies that support the teaching of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) for Mathematics, and (3) facilitate immersion and non-immersion mentoring plans to encourage on-going learning and leadership building. To accomplish these goals, a partnership was formed with ESC Region 2, 26 Leading Education Agencies, a local Institution of Higher Education, and The Harbor Bridge Project, a community partner to meet the needs of region 2 teachers.
The teachers are recruited from private and public schools to participate in the project. The targeted Math Teacher Mentors make-up a cohort of teachers from grades 5-9. Incentives offered to teachers included 100 plus hours of quality professional development, teacher and cadre support, stipends, substitute pay, and $500 in classroom materials. Activities for the cohort included a five-day summer institute, TEKS based training emphasizing problem solving skills and with a content focus on algebraic and proportional reasoning. The cohort is also provided with technology integration training, and an opportunity to attend the Texas Outdoor Education Association Fall workshop.
In addition, math teacher mentors and their cadre members are offered 84 hours of additional professional training free during their off contract hours and at a discount during contract hours. Professional development trainings held in the fall and spring include a face-to-face with an online follow up component. ESC-2 staff specializing in technology, mathematics, curriculum and instruction with Dr. Michael Muzheve, Associate Professor of Mathematics, from Texas A&M University- Kingsville developed high-quality, professional development opportunities. Further, an online learning community, facilitated by ESC-2 staff, Dr. Michael Muzheve, and community partner will be established to provide mentoring, guidance, discussion and feedback to ESC-2 grant participants.
This effort will provide students, especially high risk and economically disadvantaged students, with greater opportunities for life-long success.