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Revolutionizing Education

Virtual Math Mentorship Project: Partnering Elementary Math Methods Course with Rural Title 1 School

Two students working on math

Photo Credit: Ben Wyrick

Ed Prep Matters features the “Revolutionizing Education” column to spotlight the many ways AACTE, member institutions, and partners are pioneering leading-edge research, models, strategies and programs that focus on the three core values outlined in the current AACTE strategic plan: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; Quality and Impact; and Inquiry and Innovation.

This article was written by Jennie M. Carr of Bridgewater College and Tammy T. May of Rockingham County Public Schools.

Educator preparators are often seeking unique and meaningful experiences for their teacher candidates. With the knowledge that high quality mentoring relationships can demonstrate positive improvements in academic performance, attendance, feelings of self-confidence, resilience, perceived social acceptance, and relationships with others, we began working collaboratively to create a mutually beneficial math mentorship partnership between Bridgwater College and an elementary school in the Rockingham County Public School District (Coller & Kuo, 2014; Masters & Kreeger, 2017). The logistics of managing a traditional face-to-face mentoring experience was too difficult and there is no required field experience in the college’s elementary math methods course.  Because online tools are typically utilized on college campuses and with the school district’s recent 1:1 Chromebook adoption, we crafted the virtual math mentorship (Hartun & Harvey, 2015).

Connecting the virtual math mentorship to teacher candidates’ capstone project in the math methods course was vital to its success. The eight-week project consisted of a teacher candidate field trip to the elementary school, two virtual Google Hangout sessions, four virtual Seesaw pen pal exchanges, and the creation of a personalized and interest-based differentiated math lesson for a fifth grade mentee, which was implemented during the students field trip to Bridgewater College.

Two Tips to Increase Students’ Use of Office Hours

Young educator meeting with students in office

This article by AACTE Board member Jennie M. Carr and photo originally appeared in Faculty Focus and is reprinted with permission. ©Magna Publications.

I once heard a colleague explain that their office hours were intentionally scheduled from 8 am to 10 am because students are still asleep. The professor laughed, but I cringed. That thought process is so far from my teaching philosophy, which is dedicated to developing and supporting students, that the intentionality of the comment prompted me to reflect on my own process for scheduling office hours.

At the beginning of each semester, I review my teaching assignments and then create a balanced schedule based on course days and times, various committee and departmental meetings, services, and office hours. For several years, like many of my colleagues (maybe even you), I selected office hours based on

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