“I loved the overall structure of the program—working on problem sets with others in small groups with helpers available.” Joni Swarts, PfT 2005
“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."
“The experience in PfT shaped 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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“PROMYS 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."
“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.”
“PfT impacted my teaching in a variety of ways. The most important was getting my students to understand patterns, make observations and come to their own conclusions. I realized that in the process of discovery my students were learning more than just the concept, but also learning conceptual thinking, the foundation of real mathematical understanding.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“I am still teaching, and I can honestly say that PROMYS has had a profound impact on my trajectory. For one thing, I made lots of friends and established many professional connections which have benefited me tremendously. PROMYS is one of the reasons I have decided to stay in teaching for as long as I have.”
“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.”
“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!"
“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 PROMYS 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.”