Education Technology

Meet TI Teacher of the Month: Lisa Goddard

Posted 03/25/2019 by Kim Gonzales

Meet TI Teacher of the Month: Lisa Goddard

We’re celebrating teachers, like you, who make a difference in the classroom. This month, join us in getting to know Lisa Goddard, who loves getting to see the aha! moments on her students’ faces when they learn a difficult concept.

Fast facts about Lisa:

  • TEACHES WHAT: Algebra I and II, geometry and STEM
  • TEACHES WHERE: Wilburton High School, southeastern Oklahoma

Lisa in her own words:

Why did you become a teacher?
Growing up, I always wanted to help teach others. Whether this was through tutoring or coaching swim lessons, it has always felt natural for me to help others learn and grow.

"It’s truly awesome to see that aha! moment when students finally understand a concept they’ve been struggling with."

Lisa Goddard, TI Teacher of the Month

What advice would you give to your first-year teaching self?

I would say continue to try and find a way to always make learning fun for the students. I work on trying out different activities, instead of teaching the same ho-hum lessons every day. I’ve found that introducing concepts through new, unique activities really gets my students excited.

What do you love most about teaching?

I absolutely love seeing that aha! moment from students. It lets me know that I’m getting through to my students who have been struggling with math. It’s an amazing feeling when they say, “wow, I understand that” about advanced mathematical concepts — often brought about by using new calculator technology.

What TI technology do you use in the classroom, and how do you use it?

I enjoy using just about anything that involves the TI-Nspire™ CX graphing calculator. In particular, it’s been great working with the TI-Nspire™ Navigator™ System . It’s helped students by providing them with a clear visualization of each math problem and allows them to move things around on the screen with ease. Everything about the TI-Nspire™ CX graphing calculator has been phenomenal. I honestly can’t imagine ever teaching without it.

How do you help your students learn difficult concepts?

I always teach my students that there’s more than one way to do a math problem. It’s just like on a calculator — there’s more than one way to do different operations. To implement this idea, I often come up with different ways of explaining concepts. Whether it’s by using different methods, applying different algorithms, or allowing students to routinely ask their peers if they have another way of learning a concept, there are so many ways to work a problem. This diverse approach allows students to successfully grasp a problem by learning through the method that is best suited to them.

What’s it like to get a student to see past what they are struggling with?

As I mentioned, it’s truly awesome to see that aha! moment when students finally understand a concept they’ve been struggling with. Parents often reach out and tell me that this is the first year their kid hasn’t struggled in math or that they’re even enjoying it. Some of my students have reached out with similar sentiments. For example, I had one student that hated fractions at the beginning of the year. However, eventually she was going out of her way to work on extra credit problems that contained fractions. Moments like that are incredible to witness as a teacher.