Mark Vasicek, a local teacher, has been named one of this year’s national PBS Digital Innovators. He left engineering to care for a child who was seriously ill and today teaches at West Springfield High School, where he can feel the impact he’s making in others’ lives. Mark loves inquiry based instruction and searches for appropriately challenging math tasks. He also loves to see his students have an “aha” moment after persisting and persevering with a math challenge. He holds the important belief that we can all grow our math brains with hard work, which includes learning from our mistakes. This norm — that mistakes are expected, respected, inspected and corrected — changes the mindset of his students toward learning math.
One of Mark’s favorite PBS LearningMedia resources is an interactive entitled “Reroofing Your Uncle’s House” about figuring out the materials needed to re-roof a house.