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2011-2012 Goals and Objectives

The focus of the coaching efforts at Athena Middle and High School for the 2011-2012 school year will be on improving the mathematical achievement of both general and special education students, specifically in algebra.  Algebra is often considered a gateway for students from all backgrounds to greater opportunities by facilitating achievement in upper level mathematics courses, acceptance into college, and economic equity in the workforce (Ladson-Billings, 1997; Tate & Rousseau, 2002).  Unfortunately, algebra is also an area where many Athena students struggle.

As a math coach, I would like to improve the strength of quarter grades, state assessment scores, student engagement, and teacher professional development.  Some of my specific coaching objectives are as follows:

  1. Maximize the passing rate and the growth of algebraic understanding of all students in middle and high school math courses and state assessments
  2. Maximize the number of all students reaching mastery in middle and high school math courses and state assessments
  3. Early identification of struggling students
  4. Identifying strategies to target struggling students
  5. Using research-based best practices in mathematics instruction
  6. Integrating technology (SMART boards, clickers, aleks, wikis, calculators, etc.)
  7. Minimizing transition issues between middle and high school
  8. Increasing the effectiveness of our AIS programs

I am available in any way possible to help students and teachers to achieve their goals and maximize the effectiveness of the learning process at Athena.


References: Ladson-Billings, G. (1997). It doesn’t add up: African American students’ mathematics achievement. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 28(6), 697-708.

Tate, W., & Rousseau, C. (2002). Access and opportunity: The political and social context of mathematics education. In Handbook of international research in mathematics education, 271-300. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.


What is a Math Coach?

“Instructional coaching is basically advice and counsel designed too meet the needs of a specific teacher.  On-site coaches work one-on-one with teachers to help them understand what data to collect, analyze, and use to improve instruction.  Intensive collaboration and planning occur between coach and teacher before, during, and after a teacher’s lesson, to ensure high-quality instruction appropriate to meeting the needs of all the students.  Coaches provide regular, ongoing professional development to a school’s entire faculty, which encourages staff members to become part of a community of learning and practice” (Eisenberg, 2010, p. 30).

What Coaching IS

  • Observing teachers and providing feedback
  • Co-teaching and co-planning with teachers
  • Facilitating professional development
  • Helping teachers find ways to use data to drive instruction

What Coaching IS NOT

  • Acting as a teacher’s aide
  • Evaluating teachers
  • Working as a substitute teacher


References: Eisenberg, E. (2010). Personalizing professional development: Why instructional coaches make a difference. Education Week, 29(32), 30-31.

Welcome to my Blog!

Welcome to my blog “Have Your Pi and Eat It Too: Musings of a Math Coach.”  I will be writing about my experiences as an instructional math coach at Greece Athena Middle and High Schools in Rochester, New York (a picture of our building is shown below).  I have degrees and certificates from Niagara University, Nazareth College, and the University of Rochester in teaching mathematics and special education, school counseling, and leadership.  As you could probably tell, I love to learn.  I am currently conducting research at the UofR on the most effective ways to deliver math instruction to our lowest achieving students.  I wanted to create a blog to inform the Athena community (and others) of the great math instruction and learning experiences taking place in our building and to provide practical strategies to improve math instruction.  I hope everyone enjoys this blog.

Please contact me for any reason at

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