A certain ways into my teaching career, I landed at Cedar Valley Middle School in Round Rock ISD. It was the first year that we administered the TAKS test. It was also the first year of benchmarks and pacing guides. I found the first benchmark terribly frustrating. I thought I was teaching what I was supposed to teach, but my students didn't do well. So I decided to become an expert myself. I volunteered for everything curriculum and spent hours trying the find the very best lessons and activities for my students. I was on fire, so, when the district opened up a new math specialist position, I knew I had to apply. I got the job, but that made me one of those benchmark writers. Yuck! I learned so much with my new friends that year, I thought my head would explode! But every day, I couldn’t wait to get to work.
After several years in that position, it was time for a new opportunity. I become the math specialist on a support team at Education Service Center Region 13 for a new curriculum that was rolling out across Texas. This was another huge time of growth with a wonderful group of friends and colleagues. We worked all day and revised our presentations every evening to try and meet district needs. During this time, I became the Project Coordinator for Math and Science. I designed and delivered more than a few PD sessions, supporting teachers in instruction as well as preparing districts for the STAAR test, which was rolling out at the time. I also served as director of the Region 13 Texas Regional Collaboratives for math as well as director of Transformation Central, one of the seven designated T-STEM centers in the state.
After several more years, I had the opportunity to become the Supervisor of Mathematics for Austin I.S.D. This position led me through another incredible period of growth in learning to meet the needs of such a large and highly diverse school district. It was another chance to work with a hardworking group of incredible people.
Tired of writing benchmarks, I decided to be a full-time education consultant. I’ve worked with T-STEM Centers and Academies, mentored districts through writing assessments, presented many PD sessions, led leadership retreats for school districts, and a bunch of other things. Then we got the new TEKS. My love of curriculum and instruction couldn’t be tamped down. So I worked with Region 13 to write the Click-On TEKS. Then, one Sunday afternoon, I decided to create a series of instructional resources for math. If you knew me, this wouldn’t be a surprise; I’d kept a file of product ideas for years. It was just time to pull the trigger.
These products, this business is a huge leap of faith for me. Could I pull this off? Could I create meaningful math materials for other people’s classrooms? Could I help other math teachers fine-tune their class time to get the most bang for the buck? I truly believe that the products I’ve written will help you help your students to love math, and, just as importantly, to help you love teaching math. My sincere wish is that the professional development that I do makes a difference for you, your students, and your school.