Caroline Fongemy has been named the Kannapolis City Schools Elementary Math Teacher of the Year.
Fongemy teachers fifth grade at Jackson Park Elementary and was chosen from a field of six outstanding nominees: Shyloh Fogelman (Shady Brook), Christine Hall (Woodrow Wilson), Emily Morgan (Forest Park), Nicole Morgan (Fred L. Wilson) and Katie Winchell (G.W. Carver.
Fongemy is an outstanding teacher who has been selected previously as the runner-up for Kannapolis City Schools’ Teacher of the Year. She says that one of her most effective teaching techniques is to let her students know that it is okay to struggle.
She believes that math reasoning takes practice and that productive struggle helps students develop resolve and work through challenging problems.
“This means that my students must “do” math. They cannot be passive observers but must be exposed to challenging mathematics while I encourage, support, and assist them in persevering without removing the struggle for them,” Fongemy said.
Fongemy uses data and differentiation. Her math groups are fluid, and they change based on student needs.
“You are not defined by your data in my room. Your data just shows where we are on our road map to mastery in math,” she said.
Fongemy’s ultimate goal is to make her students love math as much as she does. Besides her effective teaching, she has helped revise fifth grade math curriculum units, led professional development on Depth of Knowledge Math Tasks, and represented KCS at state level meetings and events.
Fongemy will be recognized at the North Carolina Council of Teachers of Mathematics’ State Conference in Greensboro. Her name will appear in the Fall 2019 issue of the Centroid and on NCCTM’s and NCDPI’s website.