Educator Spotlight: Alicia Moorefield
Meet Alicia Moorefield
What grades do you teach, and/or your title/role?
Grade 3 math and content teacher (science, social studies and health).
What school, district, or institution do you work for? Location?
Baltimore County Public Schools—Honeygo Elementary in Perry Hall, Maryland.
Who inspired you to become an educator?
My kindergarten teacher Mrs. Coffta was my biggest inspiration. I have so many vivid memories of kindergarten and the pure joy that I experienced as I built a love of learning. Learning wasn’t just about the knowledge, but the fun we had along the way. Our class mascot Corduroy; a dino dig; and a teddy bear picnic are just a few examples of the ways we created memories while building a strong foundation of basic skills as kindergarteners.
What motivates you?
My students! Not only do I want them to make progress and show success in school, I want them to grow as thoughtful members of our community. I’ve been teaching for 15 years, and from the beginning, my goal has been to make the students feel as though they are truly valued as a part of our school/class family.
What advice would you give to your first-year teacher self?
You don’t have to do it all! Honestly, I still want to be able to do it all and give my students even more—but knowing how to set realistic expectations for myself and my students, while still striving for our best, has been key. We still do all the things, just not all at once!
What do you wish more people knew about being an educator?
The time and love that goes into being an educator—all for the benefit of the students. At the end of the day, it’s all about helping them learn and grow, and more than just growth as a mathematician. No matter what we do, I always encourage my students to be kind to others and kind to themselves.
What do you love most about Bridges curriculum/math apps/MLC?
My county adopted Bridges in the 2020–2021 school year while I was a second grade teacher. This is our second year with the curriculum, and I am now in third grade and can see the growth that the students are making with the foundational skills they have built over the past year and a half. They are becoming more fluent as they carry their knowledge from addition and subtraction to multiplication and division, as well as fractions and so much more!
Also, a sign of the times—I love how easily I have been able to transition between in-person learning and virtual learning. There are so many amazing resources we can access to best support the students.
What do you love most about working with students?
The ah-ha moments and the connections they make. We start every class with a learning goal and a focus on the standards of mathematical practice—the SMPs are especially helpful as the students see how they weave seamlessly throughout the skills we are learning and in different lessons, as well as the connection they can make between different units.
What’s your math story? In other words, how do you feel about math and why?
My math story has evolved over time. As a child, I loved reading! I was pretty good in math but struggled more when it came to advanced math in my classes like calculus, physics, and chemistry. Luckily, I had amazing teachers who helped me along the way. When I first became a teacher, I was a special educator and mostly taught phonics—that was my jam! As I continued my teaching journey, I received my master’s degree in teaching and leadership in mathematics because it was an area that I wanted to continue to grow in. Now, well, I love math! My students would tell you the same! Before winter break we had a fun countdown with a big box for the last day—a small gift from me was hidden inside. Their first thought was, “It has to do with math! It must be calculators!” Though it wasn’t calculators, my teacher heart nearly burst that day! I love the idea of math as a language and how all my students are able to access numbers in their own way as they continue to build their knowledge in mathematics.
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