8x8 Mathematics Teacher Leader Project
January 20, 2021
by Katelyn Shaw, student intern
The 8x8 Mathematics Teacher Leader Project, which is led by three mathematics educators in the Department of Mathematics at Weber State University and six other master teachers, is a professional development project for those that teach K-12 in Northern Utah. Weber State Mathematics associate professor, Dr. Rachel Bachman, explained that the program "consists of workshops attended through the school year that helps teachers deeply explore eight teaching practices to support their students using eight standards of mathematical practice when engaging with mathematics."
This program stands out because it gives teachers a place to collaborate using the latest researched and most cutting-edge math teaching techniques as published in Principles to Actions: Ensuring Mathematical Success for All by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. The program is also unique because participating teachers are given the integration of application assignments, meaning that not only are teachers expected to attend the workshops to learn new ideas, but they also have to implement these ideas in their classrooms and reflect on that implementation with their peers.
Teachers who complete the 8x8 project can make noticeable shifts in their mathematics instruction and become leaders in their schools. Another benefit to participating in the project is that not only do participants learn instructional methods, their key teaching practices also improve. All of this culminates in students improving how they actively engage with mathematics in the classroom. Even students who struggle and express dislike for mathematics want to find the answers for themselves rather than being told the answers.
Exceptional teachers in the program go on to become leaders in the next cycle of the project. Six years ago, Kirk Redford, a sixth-grade teacher at South Clearfield Elementary School and Weber State University graduate, started the program as a participating teacher. Redford, now a master teacher and leader for the 8x8 Mathematics Teacher Leader Project, is one of six finalists for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. Depending on the renewal of state funding for the project, Redford will be promoted to the main facilitator in the project next year to help and encourage a new group of master teachers.
If you are interested in joining the third cycle of the project, please fill out this Google Form.
BACK TO BLOG HOME