Madison Carroll: What Will You Do with the Math You Learn?
Madison Carroll of East Davidson High School grew up around educators. Both her father and stepmother were teachers and she had aunts, uncles, and grandparents that were too. When it came to her own career path, she always knew she wanted to work with people, so teaching was on the table alongside guidance counseling and other similar routes. Ultimately, it was volunteering at her church and tutoring children there that sealed it for her.
“My goal is to have [my students] grow each semester – to have them become better,” said Madison Carroll and being a positive influence is a central part of how she does this. The positivity starts the moment her students step through the door. Smiles and greetings create a welcoming atmosphere where learning is possible.
The focus on positivity continues into Madison’s lessons. She focuses on making all students comfortable with asking for clarification when they don’t fully grasp the concepts being taught. “I try not to make them feel stupid or less than because they don’t know the answer, especially in math. Kids get super frustrated in math,” Madison explained. She tries to normalize making mistakes and learning from those mistakes.
Her classroom’s decorations reinforce this mindset that math can be a positive experience and that mistakes are helpful for learning. “I really like my bulletin boards,” she said. “One of them says, ‘what will you do with the math you learn?’ and a lot of them have jobs that use math that they may not realize.”
Everyday includes some notes practice and homework help. “A lot of the time after I do notes, I’ll walk around and see who needs extra help,” said Madison. “Some kids get it right off the cuff, and other kids can have trouble getting started.” She utilizes small groups to help put students together who are struggling with the same concepts to give them more individualized intention.
Madison credits fellow teacher Madison McNeill as being instrumental to her growth as a teacher. Though they work together often and teach the same prep, they take different approaches and push each other to be better. Beyond that, you can find Madison constantly re-evaluating her approach and making sure each semester is better than the previous one.
Photos courtesy of Madison Carroll