Teachers Find New Solutions at Algebra WorkshopNYS Master Teacher/AP Statistics Teacher Mark McFarland shares crucial techniquesOctober 21, 2016New York State Master Teacher Mark McFarland--a mathematics teacher at New Hartford Senior High--was among the more than two dozen educators attending an “Algebra 2 Common Core” workshop on October 15, 2016. The workshop, held at New Hartford’s Ralph Perry Junior High School, invited participants to share and collaborate on lesson plans and teaching materials to immediately use in their classrooms.
The Mohawk Valley division of the New York State Master Teacher program hosted the event for teachers in science, technology, engineering, and math to promote the very best instructional methods in their classrooms.
At the workshop, McFarland presented material related to the new Probability and Statistics standards in the “Algebra 2 CC” curriculum. Attendees benefited from McFarland’s advice in teaching essential content such as conditional probability, determining if two events are independent, using the normal model, sampling distributions, confidence intervals, and margin of error. “Being a New York State Master Teacher has presented me with opportunities to reach out and help other teachers in our area,” McFarland says. He recognizes that professional development as it takes place at regional workshops can have a broad impact. As McFarland explains, “Having the opportunity to present a workshop like this allowed me to communicate with other teachers in our area, to provide activities that might enhance the learning experiences of all students in our area, including the ones I see in my classroom every day.”
While at the workshop, teachers also learned about the New York State Master Teachers Program, a state initiative whose website explains “celebrates the work of the highest-performing STEM teachers by establishing an expert community dedicated to developing expertise in the areas of content, pedagogy, and students’ families and communities.”
McFarland has been a teacher for ten years, and has been awarded several prestigious awards in and out of the classroom, including an Advanced Placement STEM Grant, a Genesis Outstanding Educator Honor, and thrice-named Section II Class B Boys Varsity Swimming Coach of the Year. He currently teaches AP Statistics at New Hartford Senior High, a 2016 National Blue Ribbon School.