New math coach to help area teachers

By NICOLE SMITH
Posted 1/4/19

A math coach has been secured to benefit Walker County, Jasper City and Winston County schools.Walker County Schools has negotiated an agreement with the Alabama Math, Science and Technology …

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New math coach to help area teachers

Posted

A math coach has been secured to benefit Walker County, Jasper City and Winston County schools.

Walker County Schools has negotiated an agreement with the Alabama Math, Science and Technology Initiative (AMSTI), where the school system has provided the space for a math coach to be stationed. In turn, AMSTI has funded the employee to help area teachers master their arithmetic teaching skills.  

"We gain a huge benefit from it," Walker County Schools Superintendent-elect Dr. Joel Hagood said.

Faith Black, who taught mathematics at Sumiton Elementary School for a number of years, has been named as the AMSTI math coach, and she began working last month to assist teachers at Oakman Middle and Memorial Park Elementary schools. 

Black will be working with teachers for Grades K-5.

"I can model lessons for teachers, help the teachers really dig into their standards, monitor their strategies, and help the teachers set goals," Black told the Daily Mountain Eagle in December. "You've got to build a strong foundation, and everything else builds on top of that. It's very important that these students are developing number sense at a young age and that they have a lot of opportunity to work with models and representations, so that they're building a mathematical understanding."

She will also be providing teachers with professional development opportunities.

"She has done a phenomenal job for us over the years," Hagood said of Black's history with the school system.

In addition to teaching math at Sumiton Elementary, Black reportedly served on mathematics committees and went through a number of AMSTI training programs. 

Hagood said bringing Black on as a math coach is part of the school system's plan to place a much sharper focus on foundational education.

"Reading, writing and arithmetic, those are at the core of receiving a good education," Hagood said.

In addition to securing a math coach, the school system has fully implemented a Reading Horizons program to help with fluency and comprehension, and reading coaches have been placed at all foundational schools.

Hagood said Walker County Schools is also seeking STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) accreditation, which will help expand STEM activities and concepts in all county schools.