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Nikki Spiers

Math Instructional Coach

Ms. Spiers’s goal is to inspire students to see themselves as capable problem solvers. A lifelong learner, she once studied theater and now has two master’s degrees: childhood education and math education.

Impacting Students
A recurring theme in my conversations with teachers has been about the five practices for conducting productive mathematical discussions. When teachers begin to incorporate these practices into their lessons, they have the opportunity to learn so much about their students' thinking. One teacher reported that including the practice of productive struggle into her lesson was an eye-opening moment for her.

Lifelong Learner
I attended a NCTM (National Council for Teachers of Mathematics) conference with two Graland colleagues. The theme for the conference was productive struggle. We learned new techniques for posing tasks and questioning that we were able to bring directly back to our classrooms. The ideas from this conference have become a core theme in my work with teachers.

Favorite Teaching Moment
When I received the Borgen Faculty Fellowship and began attending classes at CU Denver, I shared this news with my students. As they were writing their Hopes & Dreams goals for the new year, one student wrote that she also wanted to get a degree in math. This was a great goal for a child who typically didn't see herself as a math student. If they see it, they can dream it.

Feels Rewarded When ...
I see teachers I coach move out of their comfort zone. That could mean they are trying out a new lesson or instructional practice that will help them to grow as a math teacher or simply learning information about how a student thinks. It's incredibly rewarding to see others gain new insight.

Favorite Use of Math in the Real World
Architectural design

Other than Graland, I Support
Girls on the Run, National Center for Transgender Equality, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

Joined Graland in...
2012

Also Known As ...
Math PLC Leader; Symphony Math Club; Differentiation Cohort Member; Diversity Cohort Member, SEED Member (Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity); Schedule Redesign Committee

Hometown
Washington Crossing, PA

Education BFA in independent theater studies, Boston University MA in museum education/childhood education, Bank Street College of Education MSed in math education, CU Denver
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Graland Country Day School

55 CLERMONT STREET    DENVER, CO 80220    303.399.0390   
Graland Country Day School is a private school in Denver, Colorado, serving students in preschool, kindergarten, elementary, and middle school. Founded in Denver in 1924, Graland incorporates a rich, experiential learning approach in a traditional classroom setting, emphasizing the development of globally and socially conscious leaders who excel academically.