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VA Math Specialist Library

Breaking The Cycle: Integrating The Mathematics Specialist


"Most elementary teachers receive little or no training in the area of mathematics; much of their training is in language arts. Teachers teach mathematics the way they were taught, which has in turn caused a cycle of teaching isolated skills with little emphasis on conceptual meaning. Implementing Mathematics Specialists into schools as a means of breaking the cycle is ultimately necessary for systematic changes to occur in our educational system. Coincidentally, this has proven to be successful in changing the way many teachers teach language arts. Most elementary schools have a Reading Specialist who works with teachers on using best practices since there has been a recent shift in how language arts are taught. In order for this to occur in mathematics, a Mathematics Specialist is needed in every school. Typically, professional development has meant having an expert standing at the front of the room telling teachers the best way to teach a particular subject area. Changing the face of professional development where teachers are working together by planning, team teaching, and observing best practices at work will allow them to learn from one another."