Melanie Owens, a 7th-grade teacher at Drakes Creek Middle School in Warren County Public Schools (KY), has been named the Open Up Resources 6–8 Math Teacher of the Month for November. Owens is being recognized for her outstanding work in her classroom and her ongoing support of teachers across the country as a member of the Open Up Resources National Professional Learning Community.
Owens’ work with Open Up Resources 6–8 Math makes her one of the most innovative teachers in the country. The Open Up Resources 6–8 Math curriculum inspires a new way of teaching math by transforming classrooms into hives of activity focusing on discussion, questioning, debate, and the deeper conceptual learning of mathematics that follows.
A record number of nominations were received recommending Owens for recognition, even from former students who are now colleagues. Each nominator shared how Owens, a 32-year teaching veteran, was reluctant to learn a new curriculum and way of teaching but, over time, began to “trust the process” and implement the curriculum with fidelity.
Daryl Woods, Principal at Drakes Creek Elementary shared, “Ms. Owens has a passion for teaching and works tirelessly to ensure each student has the skills they need to master mathematics content. She uses PLC time to encourage other teachers and guide them in their professional learning of the curriculum.”
Although Owens says it is nearly impossible to pick just one high-point of teaching this year, she notes there was a moment when a student in an intervention class shared a strategy she hadn’t considered for solving a problem. “It was exciting and inspiring to hear their thinking,” she explained. “This curriculum truly works for all ability levels.”
Open Up Resources is a non-profit on a mission to increase equity in education by making excellent, top-rated curricula freely available to districts. You can learn more at www.openupresources.org.