Senior Kristin Hanratty has always loved math, but it wasn’t until her freshman year of college that she decided she wanted to take on a career teaching middle school students. “I want to change students’ perspective on a subject that is typically disliked by using creative skills to help them understand and prove that math can be fun,” Hanratty says.
Hanratty was awarded the 2012-13 Prospective Middle School Mathematics Teacher Course Work Scholarship. The scholarship, sponsored by The Mathematics Education Trust (MET) of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), awards up to $3,000 to prospective middle school mathematics teachers.
“This is an exciting and challenging time for math teachers as well as those preparing to teach math,” said NCTM President Linda Gojak. “As a math teacher, Kristin will have the challenge of educating tomorrow’s citizens and teaching valuable real-world skills.”
Hanratty is a member of Kappa Mu Epsilon (The National Mathematics Honorary Society) and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Additionally, she tutors once a week at ACLAMO (Latin American Action Committee of Montgomery County) during the spring, which provides economic, educational, health and social help for low-income individuals, especially those of Spanish-speaking heritage. She is also a volleyball team middle blocker.
“Being a math tutor is such a satisfying experience,” says Hanratty. “Helping instill their self-confidence, and helping them apply the concepts taught in the classroom to a real-world setting are the same ideals that I want to bring to my classroom.”
Hanratty, from Cinnaminson, N.J., is scheduled to begin her student teaching next spring. “Kristin seemed to have the ability to ask thoughtful questions of her peers, but also the communication skills necessary to provide clear and concise answers in response to classmates’ questions,” says Dr. Kari Hart, a mathematics professor who taught her in statistics this past spring. “Kristin seems to genuinely enjoy learning, and I
suspect that middle school students will find her enthusiasm to be contagious.”