Tuesday, June 8, 2010
A Johnstown teacher is being honored by the White House for her math teaching skills. Richland High School’s Becky Piscitella was awarded the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. A math teacher in each state is chosen for the award which includes a trip to Washington D.C to meet the President and to take part in a multi-day educational and celebratory gathering. It also comes with a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation. Piscitella says she was very “surprised and excited” by this week’s announcement. Piscitella teaches 11th grade trigonometry and statistics. She submitted a video of a class where she was teaching statistics using several different learning tools including manipulatives, computer technologies and a student generated written response to the material. She says it helped the kids to understand a very difficult concept. Piscitella also submitted a written description of the class and why she chose to use the tools she used. Piscitella encourages other teachers to submit applications in the future. She says even if you do not win it is a rewarding experience, “it allows you to spend time reflecting on what it is you do in your classroom and actually tying your lessons to things you learned in college about correct pedagogy and how students respond to that.” Piscitella says she had a lot of time to reflect on the class, it was recorded back in May of 2009.