PCMI is the place to develop and nurture the educator in all of us, through research based learning strategies and professional collaboration. The PCMI Teacher Leadership Program is a deep, often transformative, experience for teachers. It provides an outstanding program embedded in a unique and exciting mathematical environment — all located in a very pleasant mountain setting.
The Three Principles of the Teacher Leadership Program and the Three Core Courses
The Teacher Leadership Program is organized around three principles: teachers (1) do mathematics, (2) reflect on their practice, and (3) become a resource for other teachers. Three regular sessions are organized around these principles.
- For the first two hours of the morning, teachers re-encounter the joy of doing math in a problem-based mathematics course. This is an extremely popular course, with a low threshold but high ceiling. As they solve problems — which always build to a surprising conclusion, teachers can consider how they themselves are engaging in the Mathematics Practice Standards of the CCSS.
- For the last part of the morning, the teachers break into smaller units for a course called Reflection on Practice. This course, designed and taught by fellow teachers, focuses on some important aspect of teaching.
- After lunch, teachers delve deeply into the Common Core as they work in small teams writing materials that can be used for professional development with their colleagues and other members of the education community. Teachers find that this creative process provides greater insight into the CCSS than other approaches they have experienced. It also serves as a means for teachers to take a next step into greater teacher leadership.
Other Features that Make the Teacher Leadership Program an Exciting Environment
The PCMI Teacher Leadership Program is not an isolated teacher program. It is part of the IAS/Park City Mathematics Institute, an outstanding international math program that includes math programs for mathematicians, students and teachers. This environment provides rich mathematical resources, encounters and conversations. Each summer a Research Topic in mathematics is the focus of a Graduate Summer School and a Research Program, with a college-level connection to the Undergraduate Program. The programs with a teaching focus are the Undergraduate Faculty Program, with a college-level teaching topic, and the Teacher Program for secondary and elementary teachers.
This environment provides the Teacher Leadership Program with many exciting optional sessions besides the core three courses.
- A Cross-Program Speaker designed to appeal to participants in multiple PCMI programs is scheduled most afternoons.
- Cross-Program activities such as Pizza and Problem Solving or Workshops on Printing 3-D Mathematical Models. (LINK)
- In late afternoons and some evenings, the Teacher Program organizes special presentations and activities of interest to teachers. These may include teaching topics such as the use of technology, special interest groups such as teaching at risk students, conversations with world-renowned mathematicians, or hands-on building of models.
- Each year teachers cite how much they value the time and opportunity to talk informally with other teachers from many regions of the country at meals, on hikes, or watching the PCMI soccer match.