CVU math teacher named outstanding (4/8/10)

April 8, 2010

By Stephanie Choate

Observer staff

A Champlain Valley Union High School math teacher was one of five in the state to receive an award for her teaching.


    Courtesy photo
Monica Carter is one of five teachers in the state to receive an ‘Outstanding Math Teacher’ award.

The Vermont Council of Teachers of Mathematics, or VCTM, chose Monica Carter as an Outstanding Math Teacher. More than 30 teachers were up for the award.

“I was very honored that people that I work with thought to nominate me,” Carter said. “It means a lot to me.”

Carter, who lives in Bristol, has taught math at CVU for 15 years, instructing students in grades 10 through 12.

“I really enjoy working with high school kids,” Carter said. “I just like their spirit and their energy and I like kind of watching them become adults.”

Carter received her award during the VCTM annual conference, held April 1 at the College of St. Joseph in Rutland.

“Monica was a fascinating case because she did not actually fill out the application herself,” said Jason Cushner, Chittenden County representative for VCTM. “She was too humble. Some of her colleagues filled it out for her.”

Cushner was responsible for weighing the applications against the award criteria — which included stimulating a love and excitement for learning math, communicating effectively and displaying a commitment to professional growth — and selecting the winners.

One of the reasons he chose Carter was “her incredible dedication to math at CVU,” he said. Cushner said Carter worked hard to get differentiated instruction, a teaching strategy that caters to students of different learning abilities within a classroom, into CVU.

“Also, she cares about students a ton,” Cushner said.

Carter said math can be a difficult subject to teach.

“I think one of the challenges is math isn’t always kids’ favorite subject, so I think that you have to find ways to make it fun and engaging for kids,” she said.

“I focus mostly on having really positive relationships with kids and having kind of a light atmosphere, so they’re comfortable having fun and getting work done at the same time.”