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Teachers of NCCAT - Stephenie Clark

Stephenie Clark, Charter Schools Consultant with the NCDPI Office of Charter Schools, shares her ideal classroom.

The sun is at a mid-morning rise and bursts of light are beaming into the classroom. Twenty-six bright eighth grade mathematicians transition into the room. They take their seats, smiling and silently greeting their desk neighbors with coded hand gestures, a variety of head nods, or a simple wave. Every student is excited to tackle the objective of the day, even the ones who claim, “Math just ain’t my bag.”

The walls are decked out with exemplar student work, showing grit and perseverance through problem solving. Each homeroom is optimistically tracking their class mastery by standard and there are visuals to show it. One wall has some particularly rare flair as student artistic expression adorns it in a chaotic yet balanced sense of harmony. Every eighth grade mathematician sets their intention for their future through written goals and they adamantly track and monitor their progress through data binders each week.

The room is filled to the ceiling with support – from the teacher and peers alike. And there is a whole lotta LOVE. Love for the students. Love for learning. Love for failure and mistakes. Love for trying a problem again and again. Love for light bulb moments. And Love for challenges.

On any given day, students come out of their shells to share their work with peers. They receive support. They receive feedback. They receive positive energy for their efforts and that builds confidence. Each student develops a love of math, whether it is outwardly expressed or a secret internal affair.

Love, light, and learning – that is my ideal classroom.

Stephenie Clark, Charter Schools Consultant with the NCDPI Office of Charter School

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