Bridget Adam



My name is Bridget Adam and I have been teaching at Boston Collegiate Charter School since I graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a Special Education degree 10 years ago.  I have taught high school and middle school reading, writing and math inclusion and pull-out classes.  I am currently in my seventh year teaching 6th grade math.

My greatest personal accomplishments are my two children, Stuart, 5 years old, and Corrina, almost 2 years old.  My biggest accomplishment as a teacher would be my award as an Epic Spotlight Teacher in 2011.  In this year, my students made incredible progress, and I believe I played a small part in their success.  I also feel a great sense of pride when I see students I have taught earn their diplomas from our school.

I became a teacher after working with children with disabilities ranging from Autism to Hurler’s Syndrome, a rare, hereditary disease.  I have always enjoyed working one on one with children, either teaching academics or aiding in self-help or social skills.   There are many things I love about teaching.  I love connecting with students around their academic and personal accomplishments.  I enjoy working and collaborating with my colleagues who have the same high expectations as I have for all students.

One of my greatest challenges in teaching is pacing in class.  I struggle to determine how long to continue with concepts that my students are struggling on.  If it is only a few students struggling, do I move on?  What if it is a skill that is necessary for future concepts?  Should I go on and address it later?  Another challenge I continue to face is getting students to persevere when they encounter a difficult and complex problem.

I am excited and anxious about the transition to the Common Core Standards.  I feel I have a strong ability to break down skills for students, but I have a harder time letting kids work on their own and come to their own understanding.  I talk a lot.  I ask rigorous questions, but wish students would listen to each other and challenge one another.  I feel the Common Core encourages group work and problem solving, and this is an area I feel I will have to push myself.  Students still need to master skills, and I know that I still need to explicitly teach specific concepts.  Last year, I incorporated more visual models and found that strengthening a student’s conceptual understanding first improves their ability to apply the skill in real life situations later on.   My goal this year is to achieve a better balance between teacher instruction and student exploration.

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