Archive for Thursday, November 29, 2007

Math teacher uses humor to keep classes away from the mundane

November 29, 2007

Terry Boyd may be new to Lansing High School, but she is no stranger to the Lansing area.

The new freshman algebra teacher has been teaching in the area for more than five years but, just this year, has finally joined the Lions for the long haul, she said.

Boyd received her bachelor's degree in mathematics from Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Mo. From there she moved to Great Bend, where she had two children and decided to give up teaching within a school on a full-time basis.

But the teaching never quite entirely stopped. She became more active in her children's Scout troops, church and volunteering and began training adults how to work with children within a church. It was then she realized she missed her old profession.

She decided to begin the process of re-certification. While taking the required eight hours of college courses for renewal, Boyd decided to go one step further. In 1992 she received her master's degree in gifted education from Fort Hays State University.

She eventually moved to Leavenworth five years ago, to be closer to family, and began teaching math at Turner Middle School in Kansas City, Kan. While she liked working at Turner, Boyd said she was looking forward to making the change to Lansing.

Boyd said her teaching style involves hands-on activities and finding new ways to explain lessons to prevent the job from being repetitive. She said humor and personality were elements she always incorporated into classes.

Her goal is for her students to develop responsible habits by not only getting their work done but also learning the importance of asking questions to insure the material is being learned.

"I want them to understand the curriculum and to use it as they progress in school," she said.

Boyd is currently serving her final year of a second term as the chair of the Professional Standards Advisory Board for Teaching and School Administration. The group acts as an advisory board to the Kansas State Board of Education and works closely with the Department of Teacher Education and Licensure.

Boyd said it was nice having the mixture of working with a board that supports education while also being on the front lines in the classroom. Ultimately, however, she said it came down to the students and being with them was what she enjoyed the most.

So far, Boyd said she's been impressed with Lansing High. She said she's noticed most parents were excited about being heavily involved in their children's education and that the district held high expectations for its students.

That attitude fits well with Boyd. She said she is always willing to give a student extra help if they are struggling. Before or after school, she said she just wants to be available to her students.

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