North Providence, RI
2006 Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching
Each year the President of the U.S. recognizes outstanding K-12 science
and math teachers throughout the country. One math and one science
educator is chosen from each state who exemplifies deep content
knowledge combined with the ability to motivate students in science and
Jodie Olivo reads her students the book Math Curse, which tells the story of a boy who sees everything as a mathematics problem, to show them that mathematics is everywhere. “The concept I am trying to teach is that mathematics is a life skill they encounter every day,” she explained. “In fact, I try to connect everything we do during mathematics to real-world situations so that they learn it is a relevant and important subject. I enjoy watching their faces as they make a personal connection with each episode of the story.”
I spend a lot of time building trust between myself and my students so that they feel comfortable exploring and learning mathematics. Having a strong relationship with them lets me show that I genuinely care and want them to always strive to do their best. I am a good teacher because it is who I am. I don’t come to school and just turn into a teacher; I am a teacher at all times.