Fairmont State Faculty, Students, including One from Bridgeport, Attend Council of Teachers Conference

By Connect-Bridgeport Staff on May 16, 2024 via

Five Fairmont State faculty members and six students attended the 2024 West Virginia Council of Teachers of Mathematics (WVCTM) annual conference on March 15 and 16 at the Stonewall Jackson Resort in Roanoke, W.VA.
Two Fairmont State faculty members presented talks during the conference. Dr. Bishnu Sedai presented a session titled “Newton’s Identities and Some Applications.” Professor Dennine LaRue presented a session titled “The Field of Complex Numbers: Much More than Just Numbers with an ‘i’.” Faculty members Dr. Brian Blackwood, Dr. Stephanie Jones (College Vice President for the WVCTM Board of Directors), and Professor Amanda Smith also attended.
This was Dr. Sedai’s first experience attending WVCTM and he was pleased with the opportunities it provided.
 “I enjoyed my inaugural presentation at WVCTM. The conference provided an ideal setting for improving pedagogical abilities, learning and refreshing mathematical contents, and engaging in hands-on learning,” Sedai remarked.
Smith was excited to attend the conference again this year and take advantage of all professional development made available.
 “The 2024 WVMTC Conference was a major hit! There were so many wonderful sessions offered, each with a unique topic to learn about and pass on to our students. Having this opportunity to gather with other WV math educators and share ideas, knowledge, trials and triumphs was just what I needed to feel re-energized and ready to tackle the rest of the semester,” Smith said.
The conference offers a unique opportunity for teacher candidates to receive mathematics-specific professional development and to network with other West Virginia teachers before they graduate. This year, six mathematics teacher candidates attended: David Desmuke (Fairmont, W.VA), Kayla Fogle (Wheeling, W.VA), Brianna Rearick (Inwood, W.VA), Kiersten Reich (West Milford, W.VA), Joseph Rowcroft (Bridgeport, W.VA) and Hannah Ruckle (Morgantown, W.VA). They found the experience valuable.
Desmuke noted, “The world of teaching is constantly changing, so to be able to come together and share new ideas and new ways of doing things is truly remarkable.”
Rowcroft added, “It was the most social networking I've ever witnessed among not only mathematicians, but teachers who were interested in learning how to better themselves to better their future students. WVCTM is essential to teacher progression in an age of teacher shortages.”
The two-day conference focused on learning from other mathematics teachers in West Virginia about ways to improve mathematics instruction. The keynote speaker was Fawn Nguyen. Her presentation focused on the importance of engaging students in problem-solving. She ended her keynote speech by providing several small shifts in teaching that would help mathematics teachers develop their students’ problem-solving skills.
Professor LaRue, who has attended the conference for many years, said, “It is inspiring to make connections with other teachers across West Virginia who are passionate about mathematics and mathematics education. So many times, we get caught up in the logistics of teaching that we forget about the challenge and inspiration gained from learning mathematics.”  
Fairmont State Math faculty are glad to share this experience with our teacher candidates. We are also proud to see many of our graduates attending and presenting at the conference.”
Editor's Note: Pictured, front from left are Joseph Rowcroft, Kiersten Reich, Professor Dennine LaRue, Dr. Stephanie Jones, and Kayla Fogle. Back row from left are Professor Amanda Smith, Dr. Bishnu Sedai, David Desmuke, Hannah Ruckle, and Brianna Rearick. Not pictured is Dr. Brian Blackwood.

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