‘A Wonderful Experience’

Ring Elementary School third-grade teacher, Kim Austin, recently returned from the Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy in Jersey City. Austin was chosen, from a highly selective process, to attend the all-expenses paid academy along with 200, third- through fifth- grade teachers from across the country.

During the six-day academy, teachers participated in hands-on learning activities revolving around the Common Core Math Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards. The academy also provided speakers including Barbara Morgan (teacher-astronaut), Cathy Seeley (mathematics educator, speaker, and writer) and Dr. Calvin Mackie (award winning mentor, writer and motivational speaker).

ExxonMobil engineers met with teachers to talk about their profession, education, and what encouraged them to pursue a career in the math and science field. The academy offered the opportunity to earn three master credit hours at no cost to participants, a yearlong membership and free access to National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), a one-year subscription to Children and Science Magazine, and free books and materials to go along with instruction.

“This was a wonderful experience, and I am so glad that I had a chance to participate,” said Austin. “Instructors engaged us in inquiry-based learning activities and modeled instructional techniques that can be easily incorporated into the classroom. Two of the nation’s leading teacher-training organizations, Math Solutions Professional Development, founded by Marilyn Burns, and the NSTA designed the curriculum, provided instructors and managed the daily activities and logistics of the academy.”

Pro golfer Phil Mickelson and his wife, Amy, founded the academy by working with ExxonMobil to create a special learning environment for teachers. The Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy is designed to: deepen understanding of mathematics and science content, build expertise in facilitating student learning through problem solving and inquiry, demonstrate the interconnections between mathematics and science, provide an understanding of how children learn and how to translate that knowledge to classroom instruction, increase knowledge and use of instructional resources to support student learning and encourage school teams to network with other professionals in mathematics and science education.

Third through fifth grade teachers can apply to next year’s academy by going to sendmyteacher.com. The deadline is Oct. 13, 2013.