Mount Holyoke graduate alum Lachanda Garrison begins a prestigious fellowship to advocate for STEM and military families and to help make American classrooms stronger.

拉昌达驻军,19年 ended up at Mount Holyoke completely by chance. 她第一次听说 数学教学文学硕士 (MATM) program while listening to a podcast that featured Mike Flynn, former director of the Mathematics Leadership Programs at the College. “I was shocked that there was a mathematics degree you could get to support educators and coaches,她回忆道。. “我想, 我必须这么做. 这就是我要做的!”

当时, 加里森在罗塔的罗塔小学教书, 西班牙, 美国国防部教育活动学院(DoDEA, which is a United States school system that ensures children of military parents are able to continue their education, 不管在国外部署还是在国内驻扎. She had just become a new math coach and was interested in gaining skills to become a more effective one. She believed the program at Mount Holyoke could provide that for her.

六年后, Garrison jokes that the MATM program is the gift that keeps on giving, 她说的没错. The skills she learned have catapulted her into the education field in ways she never imagined. She’s been a conference presenter for the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching 并于2021年被评为DoDEA年度最佳州教师.

“MHC为我个人和专业打开了很多扇门. 我有很棒的导师,比如波莉·瓦格纳和迈克·弗林, and my classmates were incredible — I learned just as much from them,她在谈到自己的全球赌博十大网站时说. “我不认为我会在这里, 有足够的信心成为这个领域的教师领袖, 如果我没有参加Mount Holyoke的MATM项目.”

加里森才刚刚开始. 今年夏天,她和其他16名教师一起被授予“最佳教师”称号 阿尔伯特·爱因斯坦杰出教育家研究员. 这一年的经历, 从八月开始, has embedded her in the United States Senate as she shares her expertise on mathematics, teaching and what she believes it takes to help other educators gain leadership skills inside and outside of the classroom.

The MATM program was created to support K–8 educators and math coaches wanting to hone their mathematical skills and become stronger teacher leaders. 该项目为期两年,获得32个学分, 课程在夏季和学年期间进行. 本学年的课程都在网上, and students can choose to come to campus in the summer for those courses. 学位课程 帮助教育工作者 understand how to shift the curriculum to meet the needs of individual students, introduces students to new research from the field of mathematics and helps them participate fully in mathematics communities at the local, 州一级和联邦一级.

“Our program helps students get better at mathematics but also helps them consider where else they might want to take their mathematics career. We need educators like Lachanda to get involved at the legislative level and advocate for how it’s taught and therefore understood by students,” Marria卡灵顿他是该学院数学领导力项目的主任. “We’re asking ourselves, ‘How do we make sure folks have good math stories?’ Doing so empowers teachers and coaches to reflect on their own experience and get better for themselves, 这会影响到学生.”

Growing up, Garrison enjoyed the challenging aspects of mathematics. 虽然这个话题对她来说并不容易, she appreciated that it provided clear steps to solve a problem while also providing an opportunity to branch out and find the same answer in a variety of ways. 她也喜欢教室, 作为军人配偶, 以任何可能的方式参与到DoDEA的课堂中, 无论是当午餐监督员还是助教. And even though she knew she’d eventually make it to the classroom full time (and she did for 14 years), she says being able to collaborate with the federal government in this way is an opportunity of a lifetime she never expected.

30多年了, 阿尔伯特·爱因斯坦杰出教育家研究员s have played a critical role in how legislation about education is shaped and passed. 这16名教育工作者在美国大学担任职务.S. 国会办公室,教育部, 美国国会图书馆, 国防部, 美国地质调查局, 国家科学基金会, the Department of Homeland Security and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The fellows serve as STEM teaching experts who advocate for students, 全球的教师和教育团体. Fellows are able to see how educational programs are created at the federal level while also sharing their perspectives as industry professionals.

Garrison is especially proud to be able to represent military spouses and families who experience a particular type of transition challenge when having to move abroad and still keep up with United States curricula.

“Military families are extremely important to me because that’s the culture I grew up in. There are so many beautiful challenges and strengths to that culture, 比如必须多次搬家,或者一直是一个新来的孩子,”她说。. 加里森在成长过程中上了五所小学. “Having the ability to advocate for and bring awareness to what our military families are going through brings me pleasure. It’s the entire family that deals with deployments and misses their family members around holidays. 真的,整个家庭都在服务.”

Garrison will spend the rest of the year and part of 2024 in Washington D.C. She’s most excited to have her voice heard in such a meaningful way because she remembers times when she was in the classroom and didn’t feel her concerns were being heard by administrators and others outside the classroom. She’s also looking forward to learning up close how the government works.

她说,节目结束后,“前途无量”.” She is keeping her options open, including returning to the classroom. “我喜欢教书。, I love children and I love being able to collaborate with educators; I don’t see that changing. But I’m also in a season where I can go anywhere, do anything and be anything.”