|Scott Adamson and Linda Meng|
For the second year in a row, Dr. Adamson and Professor Meng joined a cohort through the Charles A. Dana Center International Facilitation Fellow Program – a DoDEA Mathematics Professional Learning Initiative, to be trained in Austin, TX and subsequently deployed to their individually assigned bases. In 2015, Meng served at the U.S. Army Base in Daegu, South Korea and Adamson was at the U.S. Naval Base in Yokosuka, Japan. This year Meng and Adamson were assigned to U.S. Army Garrison, Ansbach, Germany and U.S. Marine Corps Air Station, Iwakuni, Japan respectfully.
“In a small way, this program allows me the opportunity to support our military families serving our nation around the world. Specifically, I had the opportunity to build relationships with and support the teachers on base who impact the children and families stationed at the base in Iwakuni,” explained Adamson. “Through this program, I can share my experience and knowledge of teaching and learning mathematics with the teachers who can then provide these children with a positive school experience.”
Military families often times feel isolated from what is happening “back in the states” and this DoDEA programs helps to ensure their children’s education is at the same level with the latest standards back home.
“I believe it is very important that the children of soldiers receive an education on par with children in the states,” shared Meng. “I also believe that mathematics education needs to evolve to better meet the needs of students, no matter where they live, and these new standards are addressing this change. For me this opportunity was a wonderful way to combine the two.”
It being the second year of the program, not only were the teachers more confident and better prepared, but the curriculum was more sophisticated as well.
“This year we had the opportunity to take a deep dive into two very important mathematical topics – place value and fractions. While last year was an introduction to the new standards, this year focused teachers more on learning effective strategies for helping their students to have a positive experience with making sense of important mathematical ideas,” shared Adamson.
More experience also brought with it more responsibility in year two. For instance, Meng was assigned four schools in the southern Bavarian region of Germany compared to just one school in South Korea last year. And more schools meant more teachers to train from a broader range of grade levels, but our CGCC faculty gladly welcomed the work and the impact they were able to make.
“My son is serving in the U.S. Army as his career. I see first-hand the struggles his family has experienced during his service,” reflects Meng. “He is the fourth generation of Mengs to serve in the U.S. Army, although he is the first to make it a career. So this is my way of supporting him, his family, and all the other soldiers and their families who are serving our country, as well as honoring a family's commitment to our nation.”
For more information on the Charles A. Dana Center International Facilitation Fellow Program visit www.utdanacenter.org.