The autonomy of teaching and the freedom to implement new ideas drew middle school math teacher Linda Mohr to teaching at independent schools.
“I love having that community feel,” Linda said. “And the students are pretty amazing.”
Linda hold a bachelor’s degree in economics from Bucknell University, but the opportunity to teach children drew her to education. After a couple of stops around the country, including time in Princeton, N.J., and Portland, Ore., she landed at Pembroke Hill in 1999 as a lower school student support services teacher. When a position opened up in the middle school, she jumped at the opportunity.
“Everyone is very supportive and caring,” she said. “They want you to do well.”
The autonomy she has at Pembroke Hill allows her the ability to teach mathematics and equations from a more realistic and practical vantage point.
To teach slopes in pre-algebra, the students will build slides. To help teach percentages, she created the “Mohr Store,” where they learn about taxes and discounts.
“It’s more fun than simply teaching concepts,” Linda said. “Math is about recognizing patterns, not just memorizing rules.”
With iPads ever present in the classroom, she uses technology to emphasize concepts. She also creates videos for students to watch at home to prepare for concept discussions the next day in class. After each unit they discuss, her students create a chapter in their online math concepts iBook. It allows them to be creative, but for Linda, it reveals how well students are grasping the concepts.
“My hope is that the students can use the books as they move up to seventh, eighth grade and beyond, to help reinforce what they’ve already learned,” she said. “I want them to say, ‘Oh, I remember that concept. Let me pull that up.’”