A collaborative effort of Maine DOE, MSAD 17, and the University of Maine at Farmington came to life in June at the first of its kind in the nation — math coaching project. UMF’s graduate program, the Maine Mathematics Coaching Project, brought together 15 teacher coaching candidates and their administrators to participate in the summer institute.
These future mathematics coaches and their school districts made a two year commitment to provide the districts with much needed instructional support in mathematics. “By giving today’s math coaches what they need to be successful, we’re better preparing our students to learn the math skills they’ll need for the STEM jobs of the future,” said Shannon Larsen, UMF assistant professor of elementary mathematics education.
The Maine Mathematics Coaching Project (MMCP) was developed in partnership with school districts and the Maine DOE. The program includes summer institutes, three graduate courses, and visits to the teachers’ school district by UMF faculty throughout the program to support transition and implementation of the knowledge and skills learned in support of improving student understanding and learning of mathematics.
The kick off day was followed by an additional two days of training and included guest speakers. The guest speakers were Mary Wermers and Julie Posternack from Massachusetts, Shannon Larsen from UMF, Cheryl Rose-Tobey from EDC, and Michele Mailhot from Maine DOE. Mailhot shared strategies for working with adult learners. Participants were enthusiastic about the program and commented that it was, “Informative, provided key points about what coaching is about. Great math discussion!”
The role of administrators is a key to the success of the coaching project. The administrators attend the last day of the summer institute and joined in the creation of a vision for elementary mathematics focused on a mathematics learning culture.
“Teachers serving as math coaches often are no longer teaching in a regular class and do not have a coordinated network of support,” said Sandra MacArthur, UMF director of educational outreach. The inclusion of the training and support for the administrators will help to facilitate and build a district network of support for the coaching candidates and ensure maximum support for student learning.
For more information, contact Mathematics Specialist and Penquis Regional Representative Michele Mailhot at firstname.lastname@example.org or 624-6829.