February 2023 Educator Spotlight

Spotlighting Colorado Mathematics Educators and Teams

This section of our newsletter allows us to recognize the amazing mathematics teams, educators, and leaders in our community. This month we spotlight a high school mathematics teacher, Abby Briggs, at Northridge High School in Greeley, Colorado. Abby will receive a care package of teacher goodies as well as CCTM shirts!

Abby is an incredible teacher and leader for the Northridge High School mathematics department. Abby co-teaches 9th and 10th grade students including students in special education programs and/or who are culturally and linguistically diverse. Find out how Abby makes everyone feel like they belong and are capable in mathematics below:

Abby Briggs is a high school mathematics teacher at Northridge High School, Greeley, CO

Abby writes:
I am a high school math teacher, currently teaching mostly 9th and 10th grade courses. I am in my 8th year of teaching. I enjoy spending time in the mountains with my husband and dog. I like to camp, hike, or just sit and read in nature. At home I spend time gardening, baking,  and doing home renovations.

I love helping students recognize that they can be successful at math. Many students come into my class feeling that they are “not a math person” or they will “never understand math”. They may have had bad experiences in the past or just never felt successful in a math class. I love being able to show those students that they CAN get math. Math CAN be fun and they are a “math person”! Every year I try to make that magic happen for each of my students. That is what keeps me in math education.   

One important strategy that our team has introduced to our kids is talking with a partner--sharing their knowledge and ideas of how to solve math problems.  Students learn from each other and more times than not, that is more powerful than learning a strategy from their teacher.  Students realize they are facing the same issues when working on math problems, so they work together to solve them.  In my classroom, the students go through a random process of getting a partner every morning.  This way they learn to work with every student in the classroom.  Sometimes they become the leader in the pair; sometimes their partner is at the same skill level or maybe their skill level is lower than their partners'-- whichever situation they are in, students learn teamwork and tolerance in their daily exchanges, which makes them better mathematicians.  It is the most amazing feeling in the world to help a student feel confident in their ability to meet any challenge they have at school!

I co-teach many of my classes and teach many students that are in special education programs or are culturally and linguistically diverse. It is always my goal to make my students feel like they all belong in my classroom. No matter how big of gaps they may have in their math education. I strive to have all of my students able to be successful at high school level mathematics regardless of how many grade levels they are behind. Every student can and will learn!      

If you want to nominate an educator, leader, or team, please use the following form. Those selected to be featured in the spotlight will receive an educational care package (and the person nominating will also receive a care package). Use this link to nominate an individual or a team!

Return to CCTM February Newsletter