Transforming Math classrooms as the foundation for new leadership roles

To achieve our mission, the MEC MSP works to prepare a statewide cadre of 53 mathematics teacher leaders, grades 4 through 14, by:

  • Deepening their mathematics content knowledge;
  • Supporting them as they work to transform their own mathematics classrooms; and,
  • Preparing them to provide high quality mathematics content workshops for teachers and administrators throughout Washington State.

This statewide cadre of new teacher leaders participate in the following:

  • The MEC MSP mathematics Content Workshops;
  • Monthly teaching Webinars focused on classroom implementation;
  • Classroom-based Studio Days where teachers and administrators push into classrooms together to observe and advance their practice;
  • A Mentorship Model where RMCs apprentice new teacher leaders as they learn to facilitate the MEC MSP workshops regionally.

The strong sponsorship and support of all ESDs allows for equitable access to MEC MSP workshops, and provides the potential for taking this groundbreaking work to scale in Washington State.

The MEC MSP partnership is unique in that no other statewide project like it exists in the nation. Participants themselves can speak best to the impact of the Delayed Leadership Model:

“Students need multiple opportunities, over time, to engage in productive struggle as they make sense of mathematical situations and develop deep understandings and confidence in their ability to do so. Teachers need this, as well: Multiple opportunities, over time, to engage in productive struggle as they make the instructional shifts necessary to create learning environments that foster mathematical ways of thinking. One of the key features of this project that makes it stand above any other professional development I’ve undertaken is the gift of extended time and ongoing support. The project created a safe haven for us to put theory into action with enough time to see the positive results in our students. I’m not sure that would have been possible without the summer workshops, webinars, and studio days.”

Middle School Teacher, WA

“In the past, I knew that what I was trying to do was “broken”… But knowing that something is broken is very different than knowing what to replace it with. This work has provided me with a coherent, complete package of ideas, a clear understanding of what it means to learn, as well as a clear picture of what an appropriate role for me as a teacher is.”

Community College Instructor, WA

“Having the time to experience the change in a way that threw me into my students’ position… having to come to terms with making sense of math in a different way and becoming independent in my thinking and sense making…  when you sit through a couple of the MEC courses and have people push on soft spots you did not know were there, you learn quickly how different it is because of how you were taught and how you learned and how you might be impacting kids in the same ways you were impacted… AND HAD NO IDEA AT THE TIME!  You also learn quickly how math could have been different for you… and can be… and what it takes for you to learn and make sense of mathematics in lots of ways… and how incredibly versatile and creative it can be… and how rule following can be thrown out the window and we can just think about making sense of things!  Once you have a taste for that, it is nearly impossible to continue on in the same mode you might have been in!  Knowing how powerfully it affected me as a learner… and doing mathematics has given me the strength to push through and put aside some of the more comfortable things and forge a different path for myself and for my students in my classroom.  I still have many struggles with the HOW, but such a strong WHY makes it worth the extra efforts!”

Middle School Teacher, WA