To help create a larger sense of community among ISA math teachers and to foster collaboration, ISA hosted its first ISA Mathematics Community Fall Gathering to launch the math educators group within the online ISA Community of Practice (COP). Held at Teachers College Columbia University, teachers across ISA schools attended the event to build relationships with their fellow ISA math teachers and watch demonstrations of how to use online tools.
“We want our ISA math teachers to be able to share lessons and student work on ISA’s Community of Practice because there are very few inquiry-based math resources online,” said Nathan Dilworth, an ISA math specialist. “We want to build the intellectual capacity within our community so our teachers can work with each other and initiate their own collaboration.”
While ISA coaches help create math curricula for schools, ISA recognizes that not every ISA math classroom is the same and that teachers need to differentiate to meet the diverse needs of students. Teachers can now share these modifications through COP, which may help other teachers in similar situations.
“One of ISA’s goals is to strengthen our network of schools,” said Scott Noon, ISA’s executive director for business development. “The online Community of Practice supports collaboration and sharing of best practices among principals, teachers, coaches, and other educators in the network.”
The ISA Community of Practice was built on the Yammer platform and released at the Summer Institute in June. Over the coming year, ISA content, tools, news articles, and classroom resources will be posted to the site for everyone to share.
“Our long term goal is to impact where education goes in the future,” said Dilworth. “Our teachers are going to be the next generation of people opening schools and moving into policy positions. We want to equip them with an understanding of what collaboration within education can look like so they can take those experiences with them.”