PROMYS for Teachers Testimonials

“No single program or class has influenced the way I teach more than PROMYS. It is during that summer I realized that mathematics is not about getting a nice neat answer that matches the back of the book, instead it is about being able to make hypotheses, test those hypotheses so we can understand how the structure of mathematics works and then be able to communicate those ideas to others. The idea of productive struggle and what we gain from it was such a gift that PROMYS made clear. I would be a different teacher today if I had not attended PROMYS.

“During my time teaching I have seen 16 of my former students go on to become math teachers. They all remember the feeling of not understanding mathematics right away, but sticking with it and eventually having it start to make sense. Many have said to me that they actually started enjoying the mathematics more because of the satisfaction they felt after getting a problem that confused them at first. Several point to this as why they wanted to teach math to others. The idea of productive struggle was brought home to me by my time at PROMYS.”

Jamil Siddiqui
East Bridgewater Jr/Sr High School, East Bridgewater, MA
PROMYS for Teachers 1999, 2000, and 2001
2020 National Teachers Hall of Fame inductee
2019 Massachusetts Teacher of the Year

“PfT is one of the few high-quality summer programs designed for secondary teachers looking to expand and deepen their own understanding of mathematics.”

Anders Hulleberg
Waltham High School, Waltham, MA
PROMYS for Teachers 2017; PROMYS Math Circle Mentor 2017

“PROMYS was the singular, best PD I have engaged in throughout my teaching career. It transformed my views of effective teaching, and was extremely beneficial to how I have since approached teaching and learning mathematics.”

Mary Shapiro
Charles S. Pierce Middle School, Milton, MA
PROMYS for Teachers 2016

“I encourage all high school and middle school math teachers to join PROMYS for a summer ­– to recharge your emotional and intellectual batteries by experiencing once again just why you love math, to put yourself in the place of your students and experience the frustration and challenge they face (and thus make yourself a better teacher), and to get a chance to talk to other math teachers in different schools and share and compare experiences. To those who fund this program, thank you! This is one of only relatively few programs which make this experience possible for math teachers. For all the rhetoric about improving math teaching, this is one of the few programs which does something about it!” 

Adam Fried
Brookline High School, Brookline, MA
PROMYS for Teachers 2018, 2019, 2020

“The reunion emails reminded me of the deep gift PROMYS gave to me as a math teacher. It was singularly the most profound experience for shifting my practice because it immersed me in the rich, first-hand experience of mathematical inquiry – something that had been in short supply in my own formal education. PROMYS also connected me to a vibrant mathematical community outside of my normal education circle and helped me to feel more grounded in my role as a bridge for my students, linking their current studies with a greater world. And most importantly, I recall Glenn's contagious joy. Every teacher finds moments of exhaustion. In those times, I harkened back to sitting in that large auditorium with amazement and admiration at Glenn's daily energy, drawing on it for inspiration to do the same for my students. A thank you is sorely insufficient for all that I received from PROMYS, but it is what I can pass along at the moment, a very hearty thank you!” 

Andrea Toohey
PROMYS for Teachers 2008 and 2009

“PROMYS for Teachers gave me a clear vision of how I wanted my students to experience math – it's how math wants to be taught, for lack of a better phrase.”

Nick Dent
Boston University Academy
PROMYS for Teachers 2013 and 2015; PfT Counselor 2017 and 2020

“Becoming involved in the PROMYS for Teachers program was a life-changing decision for me. It has influenced my thinking and reasoning, not just in mathematics, but in everything in my life. It has changed the way that I view the world.”

Steven MacDonald
Methuen High School, Methuen, MA
PROMYS for Teachers 2007, 2008, and 2009

“PROMYS changed my professional life and my value as a teacher. It introduced me to rigorous mathematical inquiry rooted in the standards of mathematical practice, and brought me into a culture of low-threshold, high-ceiling mathematical exploration that I continue to practice in my own mathematical work (which I do more of because of PROMYS), and facilitate in the mathematics classroom.

“I have many anecdotes regarding the transformation of my classroom teaching due to my PROMYS experience, all of which can be summed up in the observation by students (and teachers) that I question, probe, and promote dialog with students in ways that are both engaging and challenging. When I visit classes and engage with students, they regularly comment on their positive experience exploring – and communicating – mathematics. Virtually all of this value that I provide as a teacher and educational leader has its foundations in PROMYS.”

Andrew Katz
Lawrence High School Campus, Lawrence, MA
PROMYS for Teachers 2006, 2007, and 2008

“Many teachers from Brookline High School have taken PROMYS and they have all found that their experience at PROMYS has allowed them to enliven their classes with very interesting mathematical investigations. We are always looking for ways to bring mathematics that is outside the scope of our traditional algebra based curriculum into our program and have found that PROMYS is an excellent way to do this.”

Joshua Paris
Math Department Chair, Brookline High School, Brookline, MA

PROMYS for Teachers 2003

“I learned so much during my summer at PROMYS, about myself as a math learner and about what it feels like to really persist through challenges in math. Since that summer, I have more empathy for students (and fellow teachers) who need more time to master math content and make sense of big ideas. I am a much better educator for having gone through PROMYS.”

Maura Dudley
Educational Consultant, Boulder, CO
PROMYS for Teachers 2006

“Having participated in PROMYS in 2005, I think that this program is valuable for teachers, and I have incorporated different techniques of discovering mathematics into my own classroom.  The most valuable part of the experience was not learning any specific mathematical concept –rather, it was experiencing the struggle of grappling with higher-level problems, discovering mathematical patterns in collaboration with others, and learning how to incorporate discovery-based problems in my classes.”

Dr. Andrew Hollins
Math Department Chair, Natick High School, Natick, MA
PROMYS for Teachers 2005

“PROMYS for Teachers gave me a chance to re-engage with mathematics. As a student, I realized connections between previously disparate topics and got glimpses of mathematics that gave me enormous happiness to ponder in sundry moments and ideas for inspiring new lessons for my high school students. As an educator, I had a transformative experience seeing and participating in truly collaborative learning in mathematics. More than any education class or professional development I took in the completion of my teaching credential, my summers at PROMYS for Teachers made the case for, and at the same time provided a viable model of, truly student-centered instruction that empowers students to, as now institutionalized by the common core standards, 'look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.' The lessons I have designed since are heavily informed by the structure and philosophy of the PROMYS for Teachers program. The PROMYS problem sets were my first meaningful examples of high ceiling, low threshold problems that enable students of any level to develop mathematical intuition and the means to formalize it in academic language. The PROMYS counselors facilitated my discovery of mathematical ideas in a way that now characterizes the role I take in my own instruction. As a teacher, I am deeply indebted to PROMYS for Teachers for informing and invigorating my work in bringing mathematics to the inner city high school students of Los Angeles. As a student, I am forever grateful to PROMYS for Teachers for giving me the chance to myself experience the beauty of "think[ing] deeply of simple things.'”

Therese Landry
Orthopaedic Hospital Medical Magnet High School, Los Angeles, CA and San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA
PROMYS for Teachers 2009 and 2010

“In my 35 year career in various areas of mathematics, I have never encountered a better training ground for teachers to acquire fundamental mathematical habits of mind. Teachers who have experienced this program are profoundly affected by it, go back to their classrooms and convey those habits of mind to their students. There is, thus, a very strong 'multiplier effect' being generated by PfT.”

Keith Hilles-Pilant
Retired after teaching from 1986 to 2013, at Milton Academy, Milton, MA
PROMYS for Teachers 2009 and 2010; Math for America Boston Executive Director

“PfT had huge impact on how I look at mathematics and how I teach mathematics in class. PfT taught me that mathematics is actually beautiful, and that I could see it if I work hard. I had worked very hard but struggled so much in my first year. In my second year, I started formalizing the experience, making conjectures and proving theorems, which seemed to me that it was impossible to do so when I started PfT in 2007. This is exactly how I teach mathematics in my classroom. Students actually do mathematics; they struggle with numerical problems to look for patterns and structures, generalize them, make conjectures, and eventually prove the ideas. PfT taught me that mathematics is about not just a set of processes, but also habits of mind that were cultivated in doing mathematics. I cannot tell how much PfT influenced on me. The experience in PfT shapes the foundation of me as a mathematics teacher and mathematics learner.""The observers of my classes have told me that my students are very confident with mathematics. Students persevere in solving problems, construct arguments, and justify them to others. This makes me very happy because many students come to my class with very low self-esteem in mathematics in the beginning of the school year.”

Shigehito Tanaka
Principal, Longsjo Middle School, Fitchburg, MA
PROMYS for Teachers 2007, 2008, and 2011; PROMYS Math Circle Mentor 2016–2017

“Immersion in math is *the* way to become a successful math teacher. Much of the professional development at school takes a high level view of pedagogy, so programs like this are crucial in providing content pedagogical expertise that is hard to find in math.”

Kim  Scheltz
Math Chair and High School Math Teacher at Boston Collegiate Charter School, Boston, MA
School supervisor of PROMYS for Teachers alumni

“I am still teaching, and I can honestly say that PROMYS has had a profound impact on my trajectory since then. For one thing, I made lots of friends and established many professional connections which have benefited me tremendously. More importantly, though, the program not only reignited my passion for learning mathematics but also bolstered my personal life philosophy, which is that lifelong learning is a huge contributor to human happiness and well-being. So many of the people I have met through PROMYS are exceptionally intelligent and could probably make much more money in other careers, but they choose to do what they are doing because it inspires them and brings them the kind of life satisfaction that is hard to find in other careers. In addition, PROMYS offers the best kind of learning: learning for its own sake. We live in a world where most people who seek to further their education do so for practical purposes, as a means to increase their financial situation or get promoted. Many of them do so in spite of minimal interest in the courses they are taking or the subjects they are learning. Those who participate in PROMYS do so mainly for its intrinsic value, which is what makes it special...  

“The spirit of PROMYS is something that has permeated much of my daily life. I find myself doing math on my own and studying mathematical topics that I never got to in college simply because I enjoy it. Lastly, this way of thinking has helped strengthen my mathematical pedagogy. The materials I have created since being in the program are more engaging to my students, are more coherent and structured, and are more indicative of what I value in math education. I wish I could participate more frequently in the workshops throughout the year because I know how great others' materials are as well. In short, PROMYS is one of the reasons I have decided to stay in teaching for as long as I have.

“PROMYS reignited my passion for mathematics and allowed me to experience the process of doing mathematics as a mathematician and also to focus on the important aspects of mathematical thinking when teaching to high school students. The PROMYS program allowed me to study number theory and geometry, and being immersed in those subjects has shaped my decisions when creating lessons. I've thought more carefully about what is fundamental in any given topic and what is peripheral.

“I personally enjoy math subject courses, such as PROMYS for Teachers, because they are enriching and they reestablish my desire to do mathematics. This can get lost when teaching for too long and not being exposed to new mathematics.”

Brendon Ferullo
Framingham High School, Framingham, MA
PROMYS for Teachers 2009, 2010, and 2012; Math for America Boston Master Teacher
Nominated for Massachusetts Teacher of the Year

“The three years of PROMYS are a gift that I've given myself. The classes have challenged me more than any other courses I've taken. I've grown in ways that I never thought possible. I used to teach math because I was good at mathematics, but now I teach because I enjoy mathematics.”

Tracia Fung
Brockton High School, Brockton, MA
PROMYS for Teachers 2011, 2012, 2013; Math for America Boston Master Teacher

“Whatever I am as a math teacher came from PROMYS."

Tanya Finkelstein
William Diamond Middle School, Lexington, MA
PROMYS for Teachers 2000 and 2001; Counselor 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2018, 2019, 2020

“PROMYS had a huge impact on my teaching. Shortly after attending the program, I was given the Accelerated Pre-Calc classes and then was allowed to add BC Calc to the curriculum. The exploratory methods and problem solving skills I learned there were amazing. The relationships formed were so strong and Glenn's passion was infectious!”

Matt Desjardins
Westborough High School, Westborough, MA, and Fisher College, Boston, MA
PROMYS for Teachers 2002

“I felt like a better mathematician after attending PfT. I relearned to push myself beyond my initial level of comfort. I developed a love for number theory and have since taught a Seminar in Number Theory at The Blake School on two separate occasions that was inquiry based. I also began to develop more inquiry based experiences for my students in all of my classes.”

Christopher Robinson
The Blake School, Minneapolis, MN
PROMYS for Teachers 2011 and 2012; Counselor 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020

“PFT was an excellent program. It influenced my teaching quite markedly. After completion of my first summer I created a set of problem sets (one per unit) to be used in our precalculus curriculum. The problem sets are somewhat modeled after PROMYS sets – exploratory learning, formative assessment. These sets are still in use today. I also created a Linear Algebra course at my school that is entirely proof based and student driven.”

Andrew Matlack
Math Teacher and Associate Dean of Faculty at The Loomis Chaffee School, Windsor, CT
PROMYS for Teachers 2009 and 2010

“At Chelsea High School, we do a mathematics fair. Students do projects in mathematics ranging from history of math, to math in the real world (bridges/pyramids/dams), and many other topics (fractals, tessellations). Last year, before PROMYS, none of my students participated. This year I have six students participating. I hope to have more next year... I have used some of the exploration activities which we have explored during the academic year in my classes. I am also working on a manuscript for the Mathematics Teacher for the 'Delving Deeper' section.”

Ben Sinwell

Chelsea High School, Chelsea, MA
PROMYS for Teachers 2002

“As a mathematician, I view the Common Core Standards for Mathematical Practice with great hope. To me, they say that we should train students to think like mathematicians – flexibly, methodically, and precisely. Now, there's no way we will have students achieve this expert-level thinking if their teachers have no experience in it themselves. This, in my opinion, is why PROMYS for Teachers is so important.

“Last summer, as a PfT counselor, I saw students grow in their understanding of what doing mathematics means. At first, their approach was purely algorithmic and about getting the 'right answers.' By the end, they were taking joy in the process of problem solving and discovery, having built an appreciation for deep understanding.  

“Of course, PfT isn't going to change every student's thinking. But if PfT reaches just a handful of teachers, and each of those teachers reaches a hundred students, I hope that general attitudes to doing mathematics will change.”

Li-Mei Lim
PROMYS Executive Director and Lecturer at Boston University

“PfT impacted my teaching and learning in a variety of ways. I have remained in teaching. The most important was getting my students to understand patterns, making observations and coming to their own conclusions instead of just presenting information. I realized that in the process of discovery my student were learning more than just the concept, but also learning conceptual thinking, the foundation of real mathematical understanding.”

Tricia Bourgeault
Falmouth High School, Falmouth, MA
PROMYS for Teachers 2009

“I think PROMYS is an excellent program for Teachers. I very much enjoyed being challenged by the problem sets. Admittedly I did not enjoy the challenge at first, but I soon realized how much I was learning and truly appreciated all that I was able to accomplish in 6 weeks.”

John Shea
9-12 Math Chair at Needham High School, Needham, MA
PROMYS for Teachers 1999 and 2000

“I know I benefited from attending PROMYS for teachers. First and foremost, to work with some exceptional mathematics students and see what was possible was eye-opening. This started me very early in my teaching career to know that high school students are capable of learning a lot of mathematics and I should not have low expectations for them in my classroom. Also, all of the work the teachers did at PROMYS was rich with mathematical reasoning and thinking. This is my litmus test for everything I do in class. I am constantly asking myself what I can do (i.e. choice of example problems in the lecture, ways to phrase questions during class, choice of problems from homework) differently to elicit more mathematical thinking and reasoning from my students.

“The summer after attending PROMYS, I decided to move to Turkey to teach. The school that I am at has the reputation of attracting the brightest students in Turkey, but their achievements are based on a multiple-choice test... It was easy to adapt some of the PROMYS exploration problems and other EDC exploration materials for these students. With the time freedom that the program permits, I was also able to give 'problem set' type homework most evenings that get everyone in the class involved on some level... With this, I am able to challenge their memorized approach to mathematics and improve their English. Most of the students like the different approach, but not all enjoy the added work of not memorizing whatever I tell them...

"I also find myself often assigning homework without any explanation to see what ideas the class can generate on its own. I do find myself carefully planning the weeks so I can fit in an exploration project each semester based on the material we are studying. With these projects, I always try to get the students to think deeply about simple things.

“I am most pleased that I feel my students have a better idea of what mathematics is really like. The students here really love making conjectures and then trying to explain why they work. They have little interest in proofs, but they do understand the processes better. I really found PROMYS to be a great help and motivation as a new teacher.”

TJ Peacher

St. George's School, Newport, RI
PROMYS for Teachers 2001

“PROMYS will change the way you think about math – not so much about the content as the techniques you can apply to the classroom. Also, the content is cool!”

Kathryn Harney
Brooklyn Technical High School, Brooklyn, NY
PROMYS for Teachers 2011 and 2013; Math for America–Boston Teaching Fellow; PROMYS Math Circle Mentor 2016-2017

“Struggling with overwhelming concepts in PROMYS made me more aware of the analogous struggles my students have learning in math class. That content is as complicated to them as the Number Theory was for me. It helped me to remember that people don't learn unless there is some struggle – the easy parts aren't what I remember. I also think that the power of a good puzzle is important. People don't bother to struggle with something unless they are forced to by circumstance. In mathematics, it REALLY helps if that circumstance is a problem that really engages you – a problem that you find yourself thinking about even when you're not in math class. These are the kinds of problems that my students come back and tell me that they were trying to explain to their parents, or can't wait until class – so they are waiting for me before homeroom to talk about!”

Shannon Hammond
Head of Mathematics Department, University Park Campus School, Worcester, MA
PROMYS for Teachers 2012 and 2020; Math for America–Boston Master Teacher; PROMYS Math Circle Mentor 2016–

“PROMYS is education in the best sense, that is, an exercise in learning how to learn that can be applied for the rest of one's career, and in many areas well beyond elementary number theory. Anyone who has experienced the satisfaction of finding a solution to a long-sought problem that they feel they arrived at by their own mistakes and discoveries carries an enthusiasm that is infectious, and the program is in an ideal format for that enthusiasm to be shared. These lessons have remained with me for many years and enriched my time in graduate school in math and as a college instructor and high school teacher.”

Peter Glenn
City on a Hill Public Charter School, Roxbury, MA
PROMYS for Teachers 2002

“After reflecting on my PROMYS experience, I began designing lessons where students experiment with concrete numerical examples first and use their experience to make conjectures and generalize their results. I keep a running 'Conjecture Wall' in my classroom for students to keep track of conjectures they've made. We look for counterexamples to conjectures that students make, and attempt to prove some of them.”

Catherine Willwerth
Boston Green Academy, Boston, MA
PROMYS for Teachers 2008 and 2009; Math for America–Boston Master Teacher

“What has been most valuable for me is that I have been able to answer questions such as 'why can't I divide by zero?,' 'why is 0^0 undefined?,' and many others with a valid mathematical reason that my students can understand, rather than just saying 'it's a rule.'

“I took the PROMYS program after teaching for only one year, having never been formally trained as a teacher. I felt what it was like to struggle with new concepts as my students do, and taught me what they must feel like when they don't understand something. And, I saw first-hand how to use problem-based learning (PBL) and how to teach lessons that are centered on students. Today's new teachers are more likely to have been taught in high-school using PBL, but when I was in high school learning was teacher-centered.

“It also taught me the value of doing math by hand rather than with a calculator. I learned that doing math by hand forces you to go more slowly, and, when there are lots of computations to do, it forces you to look for patterns and short-cuts that can lead to deeper learning.

“PROMYS also gave me ways of engaging students looking for additional challenge.”

David Srebnick
Solomon Schechter Day School, Newton, MA
PROMYS for Teachers 2005 and 2020

“PROMYS establishes a great community of mathematicians among participants. There is such an energy and a collective thirst for learning in the program that carries over to the school year seminars and then into many of the participants' classrooms.

“The MMT and PROMYS have changed the focus of my classroom from teacher-centered to student-centered. As a result, students have control over their learning and are more invested in it. The end result is a much more efficient classroom."

Matt Chedister
Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education at University of Wisconsin–La Crosse and
former math teacher at Waltham Public High School
PROMYS for Teachers 2005, 2006, and 2007; Counselor 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012

“I think because of Pft I am very inclined to 'discovery' activities in class. I often have students explore something before I tell them the answers. The feeling of figuring something out before being told has stayed with me.”

Mary Feeley
Revere High School, Revere, MA
PROMYS for Teachers 2011

“Teaching is a career change for me. I entered the profession with a BS and MS in computer science, but no math teaching background. 

1) PfT helped me give intelligent answers to questions like 'why can't you divide by zero?'

2) PfT taught me how to each through problems. It introduced me to the folks at EDC and helped me understand how to use the CME textbooks effectively in my class. I've learned how to use problems as a way to increase student interest in Algebra.

3) It gave me the background to understand math more deeply and to be able to engage some of our gifted students in number theory and other areas of math. 

4) It helped me understand what I teach (Algebra) at a much deeper level. It has helped me move away from teaching procedures and toward teaching concepts in many areas.”

David Srebnick
Solomon Schechter Day School, Newton, MA
PROMYS for Teachers 2005

“PfT benefited me in many ways. It helped me learn how to think like a mathematician. It helped me to persevere in solving problems. It showed my some really interesting ways that numbers work together. I use these habits of mind and number concepts in teaching daily.”

Karen Levin
City on a Hill Charter School, Roxbury, MA
PROMYS for Teachers 2008

“At the time, I was just beginning my teaching career, but I can remember many in depth discussions about exploring and really understanding mathematics learning that have never been duplicated in my past 20 years of teaching or professional development.”

Cary Schwartz
Hudson High School, Hudson MA
PROMYS for Teachers 1993

“PROMYS for Teachers is a great program. 'Simple is not easy' is what I take away from PfT. Finally I felt that I learned some mathematics at PROMYS in the summer.”

Jian Liu
Clara Barton High School, Brooklyn NY
PROMYS for Teachers 2013; Math for America New York Fellow

“PROMYS has had an incredible amount of impact on my teaching. Actually, I went through PROMYS for two summers before I became a teacher, so it's pretty fair to say that all of my teaching style and philosophy is based upon PROMYS.
 At BHS, I teach Honors Geometry and BC Calculus. . . And each of these classes, I run it PROMYS style. I lecture very little, and I use PROMYS-like daily problem sets where students do numerical computations, make conjectures, and prove their hypotheses. I believe (I'd like to, at least) that students benefit from this learning style. For tangible data, 75% of my BC Calculus students get 5's on their AP exams, and over 90% of them get 4's or 5's...
 The BHS Math Team has been doing quite well. During the time that I've been there (three years), we've come in 2nd or 3rd in the State Competition and 2nd in the New England Competition every year. This year, we won the GBML (Greater Boston Mathematics League) East Division, and we had four students qualified for the USAMO, the most in any high school in Massachusetts (tied with Lexington and Phillips Academy). We have had an increase in participation every year...

“PROMYS has inspired me so much. . ."

Ryota Matsuura

Associate Professor of Mathematics at St. Olaf College; former teacher at Brookline High School, Brookline, MA 
PROMYS for Teachers 1999; PfT Counselor 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2011

“PfT is a wonderful program which makes a good bridge between a professional math community and a middle and high school community so that it helps to improve both communities in a significant way.”

Jeehoon Park
Assistant Professor of Mathematics, POSTECH, Pohang, South Korea
PROMYS for Teachers Counselor 2004 and 2005

“PfT helped me consider different approaches to mathematics teaching as well as my personal thoughts concerning concepts in mathematics, and this accelerated my growth as a teacher of mathematics which otherwise would not have been possible.

“In my opinion, it was the stretching beyond my comfort zone... that helped me to grow mathematically, and to this day influences the learning experiences of my students.

“Every year, I encourage my fellow mathematics teachers to attend the program.

“To me, the greatest benefit that I have received from having participated in the program is the fellowship that I share with the other math teachers with whom I attended, as well as with the folks at Boston University and EDC.” 

Steven MacDonald
Methuen High School, Methuen, MA
PROMYS for Teachers 2007, 2008, and 2009

“The program did have an impact on my teaching practice, particularly in my geometry course. I began to encourage my students to form their own conjectures more and more. I also was able to use what I had learned to write short mini-lessons in number theory – which the students always seem to enjoy. These mini lessons provides an opportunity for my students at all levels to conduct their own mathematical investigations.”

Robert Aili
Wellesley High School, Wellesley, MA
PROMYS for Teachers 1999 and 2000

“The biggest benefit for me was being put back in a situation where I had to really push myself at hard mathematical problems, with little to no guidance. This was both rewarding and extremely frustrating, giving me a way to relate to the students I now teach who struggle with mathematics, and confirming my belief in the importance of learning by doing (inquiry-based education), rather then by rote memorization.”

Vivian Buchanan Jablonski
Oyster River High School, Durham, NH
PROMYS for Teachers 2012; Math for America Boston Teaching Fellow

“PROMYS was one of my favorite courses. It was the first time that proofs finally clicked with me. Of course I don't recall all the information I learned but I grew as a student and as a teacher. It reminded me what it felt like to be a lost and confused student. I also met amazing teachers and other individuals that I still keep in contact with.”

Amanda Wallace
Luther Jackson Middle School, Fairfax County Public Schools Falls Church, VA
PROMYS for Teachers 2002 and 2003

“I very much enjoyed the PROMYS program. I loved the overall structure of the program – working on problem sets with others in small groups with helpers available. I loved the idea that you did as much as you could and weren't graded on a such a rigid scale. The work was enjoyable and challenging. In the end, I learned a lot and improved my overall math ability. It was well worth my time for a summer.”

Joni Swarts
Somers High School, Somers, CT
PROMYS for Teachers 2005

“I believe that PROMYS had an impact on my teaching in more of a practice way rather than a mathematical way. It helped me really understand how Math can be worked on in groups in order to benefit everyone in the group. The sharing of ideas, explaining ones thoughts, looking at each others work, all of these things really helped me build a better group work environment in my Math classroom.

“Another way that it impacted my teaching was to give me new ways in which to challenge my students who were ready for it. Being able to connect with my higher achieving students by introducing some of the earlier PROMYS problems was huge. Them knowing that I went through these same problems and struggled with them really drove them to want to succeed where I struggled. Also, since the problems were so accessible, especially at the beginning, I could give them to all of my students and have everyone in on the challenge.”

Matthew Pace
Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter Public School, South Hadley, MA
PROMYS for Teachers 2013

“PROMYS is responsible for providing mathematical depth and excitement for me and more importantly for my students over the past decade and a half. Many of my 7-12 students would have been underserved by the traditional curriculum and pedagogy. I have received many sincere thank yous, a few times have been named 'most influential teacher' and once was the subject of a college application essay. One of my students thrived at the PROMYS summer program for students.”

John Bookston
Retired after 27 years of teaching high school mathematics in Brookline and Arlington, MA
PROMYS for Teachers 1999 and 2000

“PROMYS was one of my favorite parts of the [Math For America Boston] program and was what drew me to the BU program in the first place. I loved PROMYS so much that I went back for my second summer.”

Danielle Pike
Waltham High School, Waltham, MA
PROMYS for Teachers 2012 and 2013; Math for America Boston Teaching Fellow