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Kristian DennisonSeventh-grade math teacher, Wright Middle Prep School, Metro Nashville Public Schools
Kristian Dennison is passionate about teaching because of the power of a good education. “Everyone does not start life with the same resources and opportunities, but access to a high-quality education helps even the playing field,” she says.
During her seven-year teaching career, she has seen multiple changes but feels one of the most significant has been the shift from teacher-centered to student-centered instruction because of the way students are benefiting. “They are learning math in new, creative ways, and working together to achieve higher levels of learning than ever before,” Ms. Dennison says. Her students are enjoying the use of real-world math tasks as a way to learn deep mathematical concepts. “They are talking – and writing – to justify their thinking, and even having fun while they are doing it. And in a seventh-grade math classroom, that is a big deal,” Ms. Dennison says.
In 2012, Ms. Dennison became a Tennessee Common Core Coach. She thoroughly enjoyed collaborating with colleagues from across the state, and continues to advocate for her students and the teaching profession as a member of the inaugural cohort of the SCORE Tennessee Educator Fellowship. She was selected as Wright Middle School’s Teacher of the Year for 2014-15.
Bio: Kristian Dennison is completing her seventh year of teaching and is a seventh-grade math teacher at Wright Middle Prep School in Nashville. She began her career as a special education teacher after receiving her undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University and made the move to a general education classroom while completing her master’s degree through Vanderbilt’s Teaching and Learning in Urban Settings program.