Mathematics Specialists are teacher leaders with strong preparation and background in mathematics content, instructional strategies, and school leadership. Based in elementary and middle schools, Mathematics Specialists are experienced teachers who are released form full-time classroom responsibilities so that they can support the professional growth of their colleagues, promoting enhanced mathematics instruction and student learning throughout their schools. They are responsible for strengthening classroom teachers’ understanding of mathematics content, and helping teachers develop more effective mathematics teaching practice that allow all students to reach high standards, as well as sharing research addressing how students learn mathematics.
The overarching purpose of the mathematics specialists is to increase the mathematics achievement of all students in their schools. To do so, they:
Collaborate with individual teachers, teams of grade level mathematics teachers, and with vertical teams across grade levels through co-planning, co-teaching, and coaching;
Assist administrative and instructional staff in interpreting data (both formative and summative) and designing approaches to improve student achievement and instruction;
Collaborate with teachers and teams of teachers to ensure that the school’s instructional practices are aligned with state and national standards, as well as their school division’s mathematics curriculum;
Assist teachers’ with delivery and understanding of the school curriculum through collaborative long-range and short-range planning;
Facilitate teachers’ use of successful, research-based instructional strategies, including differentiated instruction for diverse learners, and appropriate use of technology;
Provide job-embedded professional development focused on both mathematical content knowledge and mathematical pedagogy;
Assist teachers in fostering partnerships with parents/guardians and community leaders to foster continuing home/school/community relationships focused on students’ learning of mathematics; and,
Collaborate with administrators (both in and outside of the mathematics community) to develop a vision and to provide leadership through professional development and for a school-wide mathematics program.
Virginia Mathematics and Science Coalition (VMSC) Middle School Mathematics Specialist Task Force Report, March 15, 2009