**What do you consider to be the single most important thing about this work we’ve done together?**

In the past, I knew that what I was trying to do was “broken”: most students, most of the time, could not learn that way – if by “learn” you mean develop long-lasting, fruitful ideas. 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.

Instructor, Community College

The single most important thing this work brings is an opportunity to see what an engaging and truly student-centered environment could look like. In this type of setting teachers have the opportunity to really see what their students understand, not what we guess they understand based on a few answers on a test. It is an environment where the Standards for Mathematical Practices (SMP) are nurtured, the various ways students need to make sense of mathematics are honored, process is more important than procedure, and students become independent learners.

Instructor, Community College

The most important thing about the work we have been able to do as a part of the MSP/MEC grant is to develop our instructional skills as teachers, which in turn has created an environment where students have a powerful voice in the classroom. This change to our practice has developed opportunities for students to see that they have incredible mathematical reasoning, worth sharing, and that helps the classroom as a whole grow knowledge. Through this effort we are confronted with an enormous amount of evidence that says, “Yes, ALL students can not only learn mathematics, but construct their own understanding imbedded in evidence which they themselves have created and that they can defend to a room full of peers eager to see, how someone else might solve it differently.”

RMST, Middle School Teacher

My own understanding of math content knowledge (conceptual understanding) has increased dramatically. I feel like my job as a teacher is to actually be a student in my own classroom… learning new strategies myself and learning from my students.

RMST, Middle School Teacher

The community we have together has been invaluable: being able to come together in the summer and trade stories has helped me have the stamina to make the changes I need to make. Also the explicitness of the expectation that we can and will change what we do in a context of unquestioned trust and respect for our work as teachers has pushed me to change more than I would have otherwise.

RMST, Middle School Teacher

The most important thing about this work that we have done together is that we as teachers are able to experience the concepts as learners through the workshops that Ruth and Patty have provided. It has been through that experience that I have learned how I see things and watched how my peers have seen things, which has opened up my mindset and freed me of dependence on algorithms I could do but didn’t really understand.

RMST, Middle School Teacher

To me, the single most important thing about this work is being placed back in the position of being a learner. As a teacher, sometimes we forget how hard learning something new can be. Through these courses, we were able to experience working hard to solve a problem, feeling frustrated at not reaching understanding yet, having our “aha” moments, etc. Learning math content differently and more deeply than I did when I went through school has been extremely valuable for me both as a student and as a teacher of mathematics.

RMST, Elementary Teacher

Together we’ve traveled from standard classrooms lead by a teacher, with kids as passive participants, to active classrooms where kids would be doing the math and teachers are just facilitators. We needed an expanded time together to make such a change in beliefs and the 6-day summer sessions were vital in the accomplishment. Each webinar allowed us to cheer each other on and learn from all of our mistakes. The depth of knowledge of our teachers, Ruth Parker and Patty Lofgren, paired with their varied strengths and obvious comradery, gave us an amazing opportunity to face soft spots in our own math understanding. We’ve built a family of learners and lovers of mathematics.

RMST, Middle School Teacher

Our work has helped create a vision for instruction that matches the Mathematical Practices. The workshops facilitated by Ruth and Patty give a model for what math instruction can and should look like. Most teachers do not have the opportunity to have instructional practices modeled for them to that degree.

RMST, Elementary Teacher