10/1/18: Monday Motivation – Diana Herrington

Every Monday, I will highlight one person who has motivated me to become a better educator and this week goes to Diana Herrington.

Diana unfortunately passed away May 17, 2018 but I am forever grateful that I had the opportunity to co-teach classes with her for a year during my master’s program. She completely opened my mind to what a math classroom could look like.

Here are just a few ways she has helped me:

  • She introduced me to Jo Boaler’s Mathematical Mindsets
  • She really pushed the idea that the process is just as important as the final answer
  • She gave me the idea that students should be able to buy back points for assessments
  • She showed me how to use tech effectively in the classroom
  • She came up with the “5 minutes of discussing” before tests
  • She had projects that really looked for math outside of the classroom
  • She had the idea of having students do Digital Portfolios to really show off what they learned throughout the semester
  • She taught me to bring real-world objects into the classroom. Ex: We brought in pine cones, tree branches, shells, etc. when we were discovering the Fibonacci sequence.
  • She showed that there should be personal stories behind your math exercises.

I learned so much in that one year of co-teaching with her. After I graduated from the master’s program, we still shared the same office and collaborated even more. What I love about her was that she never pulled the experience card. She has worked in a high school setting for over 30 years, but she was open to suggestions from a newer teacher like me. I loved that she was always learning to improve, even after all her experience.

She was so selfless too. She bought SO many items for her students and even gave away $1,000 a year to students who used mathematical modeling in their Science Fair project through the M-power award.

There are too many wonderful things to say about Diana so I’ll split them up into separate blog posts.

I am the educator I am because of Diana Herrington. Just like Sir Issac Newton said, “If I have seen further it is by standing on ye shoulders of Giants.” Diana was, and will always be, my Giant.

Thank you for reading.

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