Michelle Harriger still remembers her favorite teachers as a child and is working to be one of those memorable teachers for her students. A native of Montgomery County, she went to a small private school and still remembers two teachers: Mrs. Murtaugh, who taught English, and Mr. Peer, who taught math and physics. Michelle pursued becoming a math teacher, starting with her B.S. in Mathematics and Secondary Mathematics Education from the University of Maryland, and her M.S. in Secondary Mathematics Education from Hood College in 2017. Michelle is now in her 14th year of teaching at Sherwood High School in Olney and can’t imagine teaching anywhere else.
For Michelle, going to grad school was a way to continue to learn as a teacher, not to move into a different career path. As she explains, “when searching for a graduate program, it seemed as though many colleges’ evening programs were directed towards those trying to move into administration, rather than on improving their instruction. I love being a teacher. Hood was one of only a handful of places that would help me provide more effective instruction without putting my career on hold.” Timing also worked out perfectly for her as she started at Hood the same year that the rollout of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) began. She thinks that “my Hood courses, particularly Teaching Algebra and Teaching Geometry, helped me to understand the motivation and rationale behind the CCSS, which greatly improved my instruction. My instructors also encouraged plenty of reflection and revision, both of which helped me achieve National Board certification.” Not only did Michelle enjoy her time at Hood, one of her co-workers followed her lead and is now pursuing her Masters at Hood! We wish them both the best!