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Johnson City Schools’ teachers enjoy Eastman MathElites/SciencElites


A few Johnson City Schools teachers were able to pick-up some insightful and inspirational training during Eastman’s MathElites and SciencElites program a few weeks ago.

Two groups of eight K-8 teachers represented Johnson City Schools during the two-week programs, which are designed to empower teachers to apply fresh and creative teaching strategies and practical applications, while strengthen the existing curriculum.

This was the 12th annual Eastman MathElites Program, and it was the third year for the Eastman SciencElites program. The graduate level summer class, which is in partnership with ETSU, allows the teachers to learn new teaching strategies through demonstrations, lab tours and assistance with lesson planning.

“We are very fortunate to be able to participate in the Eastman MathElites/SciencElites,” Johnson City Schools’ District Math Coach Sherry Cockerham said. “Eastman, along with East Tennessee State University, truly invest in the growth of our teachers, which can impact student learning for years to come.”

Southside 3rd grade teacher Mallory Hoover, who participated in the MathElites program, said she was able to build upon a toolbox of teaching strategies.

“I can’t expect each of my students to understand one strategy, utilize that one strategy, and arrive to the one correct answer through that one process, nor do I want to encourage that,” Hoover said. “This program has helped me learn even more strategies, on top of ones I am already familiar with, so I can best equip my students for success. These strategies help students manipulate numbers in a way they need to and bring about a realization that they are the boss of numbers- numbers are not the boss of them.”

With new state science standards being implemented this year, having the ability to learn new strategies together was a great opportunity, according to Johnson City Schools’ STEM specialist Dr. Chris Bowen. He also helped as an instructor during the Eastman SciencElites camp.

“The SciencElites program is an invaluable opportunity for Johnson City Schools' science teachers in grades 3-5,” Bowen said. “First, it provides multiple opportunities for teachers to learn about and use research-based pedagogies. As the instructors of SciencElites, Dr. Laura Robertson and I have created multiple engaging standards-based science and engineering investigations, which the teachers can later use in their own classrooms.”

Other Johnson City Schools teachers to participate in this year’s Eastman MathElites are Hannah Jones (Cherokee), Leslie Snapp (Fairmont), Corey Moser (Lake Ridge), Jessica Laws (Mountain View), Claudette Darla Decker(North Side), Tricia Taylor (Towne Acres), and Jordan Dison (Woodland).

Teachers that participated in the Eastman SciencElites program included Karen Bunch (Towne Acres), Lauren Lawhon (Mountain View), Kellie Bowman (Towne Acres), Brittany Bise (Lake Ridge), Erica Horton (Indian Trail), Kristi Markland (Indian Trail), Jessica Belcher (Woodland) and LeAnne Cottage (Fairmont).

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