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  • Writer's pictureMadaline Dunn

Jaytoshia Guillory: Teaching students to live in math

Updated: Apr 14, 2022

While Jaytoshia Guillory started out intending to become a nurse, she soon found her calling was, in fact, teaching. Dedicated to innovation and supporting students to be the best versions of themselves, Jaytoshia is a standout figure in education.

Over the years, Jaytoshia Guillory of Anderson STEAM Montessori Academy has taken on a number of different roles in education, and currently works as an instructional specialist. That said, whatever her role, she always brings enthusiasm and positive energy.

Reflecting on her time as a teacher, Jaytoshia said the best way to identify whether students encounter any issues with class material is to talk to them and gain insight into their disconnect or misunderstanding. For Jaytoshia, having an open dialogue with students is key.

Jaytoshia also places great emphasis on bringing fun into the classroom and relating math to its real-world applications. She spoke of the different activities she introduced to the class in the past to help her students understand that math is everywhere, including weight conversion activities with canned goods or getting students to interview their parents about their jobs. She said these kinds of activities and tasks helped her students to “live in math.”

Jaytoshia said that another important aspect of her classroom was ensuring that students felt like they were part of the school family and that the classroom environment felt safe and open. One way she created this kind of atmosphere was by presenting a PowerPoint on herself at the beginning of the year. This, she said, helped her to present herself as a person to her students, not just a teacher and, subsequently, someone to whom her students could relate and feel comfortable within the class.

Looking back at her career in education, she said that her favorite part of teaching was seeing students’ eyes open to their abilities and their perception of themselves change. Equally, witnessing students’ dedication to learning and improvement, even when encountering boundaries or struggles, is a source of inspiration for Jaytoshia.

Photo courtesy of Jaytoshia Guillory

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