For Christine Thereault, teaching is all about being relevant, whether teaching elementary school students or other teachers. With 26 years of teaching experience in elementary and middle schools, she has been a classroom teacher, a special education teacher and a mathematics specialist. Christine works as the teacher specialist for mathematics at Windsor Knolls Middle School.
Thereault recently presented at the Maryland Council of Teachers of Mathematics (MCTM) conference, where her ‘Helping Students to Persevere When All They Want to do is Throw in the Towel’ was one of the most popular sessions. She is also an instructor in graduate program at Hood College, teaching courses in the M.S. in Mathematics Education and M.S. in Mathematics Instructional Leadership programs. That Hood has an instructional leadership program is key to Thereault, who is thrilled that “Hood has both these certifications, so teachers can develop their content knowledge and their leadership.” Her own certification is an M.S. in Math Education from Western Maryland (now McDaniel) College and Educational Leadership Certification from Hood.
Thereault was asked to teach at Hood after attending a workshop with several professors, including Christy Graybeal, Director of the Math Education Graduate Program. With Graybeal on maternity leave, Thereault substituted for her, and subsequently was recruited. As a professor, she thinks it is key for her students to not only learn about the latest research, but to be able to apply it. She also wants them to understand that “the best thing is that nothing has to be original, but you have to decipher if things are worthwhile or fluff”. There are so many resources available for teachers, and it’s great to use them, but they must be meaningful. That’s why Christine enjoys Hood’s emphasis on “the content knowledge, the depth and understanding of the math standards so teachers realize what they are building and where they are going.” She looks forward to co-teaching EDMA 530, Math Educational Leadership, with Dr. Graybeal and thinks that they can really help students by capitalizing on their “different areas of expertise”.