Inspiring Future Mathematicians: Kayla Bingham

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Kayla Bingham, 2011, Manchester, CT

What are you up to? Currently I am teaching 8th grade math at Chippens Hill Middle School in Bristol. This is my first year teaching, so I'm busy with work all the time and my students can be very challenging as well. However, I'm really happy with what I am doing because I have some pretty amazing students, and I get to help them navigate their final year before going on to high school as young adults. I hope to show them how cool math can actually be and how useful the skills they are learning will be to them in the future.

How'd you get here? After starting my undergrad at UCONN in engineering, I quickly realized that that particular field wasn't best suited for me and I decided to pursue one of my childhood career aspiration of becoming a teacher. It didn't take much for me to decide on education because I had many amazing teachers in Watertown Public Schools. Many of my high school teachers had a clear passion for both teaching and their subject area, so I knew that teaching secondary math is where I belonged. After receiving my Bachelor of Science in mathematics from UCONN, I applied for their Teacher Preparation Program for College Graduates, an intensive, one-year program that allowed me to earn my Master's degree and complete a certification program simultaneously.

What are your goals? Well, my first goal is to survive my first two years of teaching, with observations and evaluations as well as completing the TEAM program for new teachers. I also really want to help my students understand that math isn't so scary and difficult, and there's no such thing as a "math person." Everyone learns at their own pace, and it might just take you longer and more practice to get it.

Advice for WHS Students? Similar to what I want for my students! Believe in yourself and work hard. Not everything in life comes easy, but more often than not, it's worth the hard work and the journey getting there. Also, don't let people tell you that your career goals aren't good enough. One reason I started in engineering was because of outside pressure. I'm glad I changed my plans to something I truly enjoy doing.

How did you start your day? I started my day by waking up nice and early to get to school!

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