Do you remember that feeling when you first walk into a class outside your comfort zone: that moment when you feel your muscles tense and you wonder whether you’re going to be lost from day one, or whether you’ll hang in there through the first few weeks? I have to admit this English major often had that feeling in math class, but recently I had the opportunity to meet with a Mathematics faculty member who reminded me of those teachers who are able and determined to see all students succeed regardless of their comfort-level with the content.
Professor Priscilla Bremser was kind enough to take some time during j-term to meet with me to discuss the ways in which she has transformed her math classes over several years teaching at Middlebury. In this article Professor Bremser outlines her inspiration, thought process and methods for making several changes in her classes, as well as her reflection on student responses and connection to the larger mathematics teaching community in Vermont and beyond. Priscilla’s teaching story is one of connection between educators as well as a deep attention to her students instructional needs.