#M3TFellowFriday: Sissy Collins

Sissy Collins

M3T Mountain State Fellow – Cohort 3

High School Mathematics Teacher

Philip Barbour High School

Barbour County Schools

Twitter: @slsscollins

Number of years teaching: 28

Other roles & positions: Algebra 2, Honors Algebra 2, Trig/Pre-Calc and WVU Dual Credit College Algebra/College Trig teacher, Math Department Chair, Faculty Senate Treasurer, Curriculum Team, County Math Field Day Coordinator, County Math 4 Life Team Member.

Professional awards, distinctions, and points of pride: Philip Barbour High School Teacher of the Year, WV Governor’s Academy Most Influential Educator, Philip Barbour High School Most Influential Educator, 

Interesting personal facts: I am married to my high school sweetheart, we have 2 children (25 and 21).  I graduated from Philip Barbour, returned to teach as soon as I graduated, and am still at Philip Barbour.  I love my school and my county and want to do everything I can to give my students the best education possible.  

Why are you excited to be part of the M3T project?

I am constantly looking for ways to improve my teaching and that can often be challenging in a small town in West Virginia.  The opportunities for collaboration are hard to find and often come with a price tag that is unrealistic.  I am so excited to get to know and work with some of the best teachers in the state.  I am learning how to identify and solve problems in my classroom from people that have experience and expertise.  The privilege of being selected for this project will benefit, not only my students, but all the students of Barbour County and for that I am extremely grateful.

Why do you teach mathematics? 

I teach math because math speaks to a part of my brain that nothing else can.  It provides structure and order to a world that can seem chaotic; but the more you know about math the more you start to see the structure in the world around you.  Everything is a pattern or a puzzle that is waiting to be solved. I want my kids to recognize that and learn how satisfying it can be to solve their problems using logic and reasoning.  

What are you focused on improving about mathematics teaching? 

My main goal is to make kids comfortable speaking mathematically to each other.  I also want my students to learn from each other and not just me.  Too often in mathematics classrooms the only person speaking is the teacher; I’d like that to change.

Check in each week on #M3TFellowFriday throughout the school year to meet another M3T Fellow. You can find a listing of all of the M3T Fellows and stay up-to-date with the work of the M3T network at our website, https://m3twv.org. You can also stay up-to-date with all of the activity of our network by following us on Twitter, @m3t_wv, and on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/m3twv.