Main Content

Middle School Institute for Teaching Excellence

The Institute for Teaching Excellence Middle School educator professional development sessions include: Science, Math, and Social Studies.  Our Institute for Teaching Excellence for English is the same week as TCU’s AP English Institute. To register for the Institute for Teaching Excellence High School Classes or any Institute for Teaching Excellence English Class, please visit the AP website.

Please note, TEA has granted training approval funding for attending TCU’s Institute for Teaching Excellence for all Middle School and High School Participants. To read more information, please click here.

Dates:  June 13-15, 2023

Time: 8:00 – 4:30

Where: In-person training at TCU. Please note, TCU reserves the right to move to a virtual learning environment with a variety of factors to consider. Registrants will be notified of any change.

Registration Tuition:
Early Registration: $500 (until April 15, 2023)
Standard Registration: $550 (April 16- May 31, 2023)
Priority Rush Registration: $650 (begins June 1, 2023)

Click to download the MS ITE Registration Form 2023.

Click to register online or click below on the individual session to register.


Institute for Teaching Excellence: Middle School Mathematics

Presentation Team:

Institute for Teaching Excellence: Middle School 6th Grade Mathematics
Institute for Teaching Excellence: Middle School 7th Grade Mathematics
Institute for Teaching Excellence: Middle School 8th Grade Mathematics

The challenges of the past two years provide a unique context for growth and professional development.  In education, we are faced with an opportunity to redefine “normal” in how we practice the craft of teaching mathematics.  Join us for a three-day in-person workshop where we will explore pedagogical strategies for nurturing math skills that are non-expirable and inspiring our students to move beyond answer-getting to mathematical thinking.

Led by master teachers (and life-long learners), participants will explore common misconceptions, extensions, and complexity of Numerical Relationships, Algebraic Relationships, and Probability, Statistics, and Data Analysis in mixed grade-level groups.  These groups will engage in vertical alignment conversations as well as grade-level content discussions, all focused on developing students’ mathematical understandings and preparing them for success in future math courses.  Additionally, participants will have the opportunity to choose from a variety of sessions to develop teaching strategies for technology integration, including Desmos; addressing social and emotional learning in curriculum and instruction; and challenging our Gifted and Talented learners in ways that encourage sophistication in mathematical thinking.


Institute for Teaching Excellence: Middle School Science

Presentation Team:

Institute for Teaching Excellence: Middle School 6th Grade Science
Institute for Teaching Excellence: Middle School 7th Grade Science
Institute for Teaching Excellence: Middle School 8th Grade Science

The Institute for Excellence in Teaching was created to bring together the most intelligent minds, talented presenters, and eager learners to promote advanced academics in your classroom. We are thrilled you have chosen to join us and we look forward to serving your needs and inspiring greatness. Here’s what you can expect in our Middle School Science Summer Institute. You will have the opportunity to participate in multiple sessions each day with different presenters. Topics will range from content-focused, TEKS-based lessons, to learning new technology applications, to innovative pedagogical methods. You will also have the opportunity to learn and collaborate with other middle school science educators from across the state. We strive to cultivate the best, most diverse learning experience possible for our participants, and we can’t wait to partner with you in your pursuit of professional growth.


Institute for Teaching Excellence: Middle School Social Studies

Presentation Team:

Institute for Teaching Excellence: Middle School 6th Contemporary World Cultures
Institute for Teaching Excellence: Middle School 7th Texas History
Institute for Teaching Excellence: Middle School 8th grade U.S. History

The TCU Institute for Teaching Excellence for Middle School Social Studies is designed to give teachers the opportunity for meaningful professional development that will help elevate the curriculum and instruction in advanced and honors courses. For three days this summer, teachers will have the chance to work with expert presenters from Texas with experience implementing advanced curriculum and scaffolding that curriculum for students with various needs. The sessions available will focus on providing teachers with the skills and strategies that will help make their students more successful readers, writers, and thinkers. Teachers will not only walk away with new skill sets and strategies for the classroom, but also actual lessons ready to implement when the new year begins.


2022 Presenter Biographies:

Social Studies Presenters:

Barret Doke

Barret Doke

Barrett Doke has taught 8th grade Pre-AP U.S. History and 11th grade AP U.S. History for 14 years. He has worked for Rice as a Cooperating Teacher to train and mentor new teachers and as a Content Specialist in Educational Technology for the Rice University Master of Arts in Teaching program. With support from his administration and PTO, he helped create and co-lead a Chromebook initiative for the 8th grade Vanguard program at his current school, T.H. Rogers School.

 

Katie Turner

Katie Turner

Katie Turner teaches AP Psychology and World History Honors at MacArthur High School in Irving, Texas. In 2019, Katie was named the Irving ISD District Secondary Teacher of the Year. In her six years at MacArthur, she has taught on-level, honors, Pre-AP, and AP classes in Geography, World History, Sociology, and Psychology. She has also been a coach for UIL Social Studies and Academic Decathlon for several years. Katie has served as a new teacher mentor, PLC lead, curriculum writer, and PD instructor for Irving ISD since 2016. This year Katie and her students created the Psych Social club – a club dedicated to encouraging exploration in the fields of sociology and psychology. Katie is passionate about bringing creativity, intention, and passion into the classroom to help students step out of their comfort zones and reach new heights.

Amber Brown

Amber Brown

Amber Brown has been a middle school educator since 2008 in Red Oak ISD where she currently serves as a 6th grade Social Studies teacher and team lead. During her tenure at Red Oak ISD she was selected to pilot their inaugural year of district classroom revolution which aimed to effectively implement instructional technology and has authored several educational grants totaling over $15,000. Brown has represented Red Oak ISD at the International iNacol Blended Learning Symposium, Camp iNation, and as an in-house district professional development presenter. With the distinction of Region 10 Digital Fluency Master, Brown has designed and presented several professional development courses with a focus on effective classroom technology integration.

Chad Smith

Chad Smith

Chad Smith is the AP World History teacher at MacArthur High School in Irving, Texas. As a MacArthur teacher, he has taught on-level, honors, Pre-AP, and AP classes in both US and World History. He also coaches several academic teams, including Academic Decathlon and UIL Current Events. Chad is also an official reader, grader of the free response portion of the AP test, for the College Board and has presented at the AP National Conference. When the Coronavirus forced schools to shutdown in March 2020, Chad worked with the College Board to produce daily videos for students and teachers in a series called AP Live and you can find Chad in your AP Classroom by watching the AP Daily Videos for Units 4 and 5.


Math Presenters:

Stacy Hughes

Stacy Hughes

Stacy Hughes is a 7th-grade math teacher from Burleson, Tx, working at Kerr Middle School that serves grades 6-8. She just finished her 25th year in education, having taught 10 years as a GT teacher in Hernando County, FL, 3 years as a mild-to-moderate learning disabilities teacher at Morrison Academy in Taichung, Taiwan, and finally 12 years in Burleson ISD teaching elementary GT and 6th/7th-grade math. She earned her Bachelor’s of Science in Education from Missouri State University, her master’s in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Texas at Arlington, and and additional master’s in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from UTA. Stacy has been the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program District Director since 2014 and has partnered with TCU through TCU’s community outreach. SSEP is a district-wide experiment design program in which chosen teams send their experiment to the International Space Station. To date, seven experiments have completed their mission, and the 8th will be on the ISS this summer. Stacy believes students should know how their brains are wired to look for patterns in order to learn, and that homework and classwork are part of building those patterns. She uses the ideas of embracing struggle, knowing where to put your energy, and analyzing mistakes to teach students how to persist in patient problem-solving and how to persevere in math.

Laura Montgomery

Laura Montgomery

Laura Montgomery holds a B.S. in Mathematics and Secondary Education as well as an M.Ed. in Mathematics Education, both from Vanderbilt University. She currently serves as the Assistant Head of Middle School at Trinity Valley School in Fort Worth, TX. Over the past 18 years, she has taught a wide variety of 7th-12th grade mathematics and science courses.  In mathematics, she has taught Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2, AP Calculus AB and AP Calculus BC. Having also taught 8th Grade IPC, Chemistry 1, Physics, and AP Chemistry, she is very interested in the integration and cross-curricular opportunities between mathematics and science. She taught for over 10 years in a 1:1 iPad classroom, and has served as a leader in the incorporation of technology in the classroom. She has a passion for the integration of technology in the classroom and the opportunities for deeper conceptual understanding and immediate formative feedback it provides. She is a Nearpod Certified Teacher, has presented sessions at ISTE, NCTM and TCEA over technology integration, and serves as a consultant for Texas Christian University’s Institute for Teaching Excellence in Middle School Mathematics. Twitter: @lauramontyg

Jennifer Nicholson

Jennifer Nicholson

Jennifer Nicholson is a high school math teacher from Fort Worth, Texas, and coordinator for the Institute of Teaching Excellence for Middle School Math, 2020-2022.  She currently teaches AP Calculus AB & BC and AP Statistics at North Side High School, where she has taught for 15 years.  She serves as the chair of the math department at North Side and she works with the FWISD Math Department to write curriculum and to support and train teachers throughout the district.  Before teaching in Fort Worth, Jennifer taught in San Antonio ISD and Mansfield ISD.  In her 20 years of teaching, Jennifer has taught all levels of high school math, but has spent the majority of her time teaching AP Calculus. Jennifer holds a BS in Mathematics with Secondary Teaching Certification from Angelo State University.  In her time at North Side High School, Jennifer has been recognized as Campus Teacher of the Year, as the Freese & Nichols Chair for Teaching Excellence in Secondary Mathematics, as a FWISD Teacher of the Year finalist, and as a recipient of the Bayard H. Friedman Hero award for Mathematics, and she is a member of the 2020 Cohort of Leadership ISD. Jennifer is passionate about vertical alignment in mathematics to better prepare students for success in Advanced Placement and other college-level math courses and to equip students to be confident life-long problem solvers. 

Joel Bezaire

Joel Bezaire

Joel Bezaire teaches 7th Grade Pre-Algebra and Middle School Statistics at the University School of Nashville, where he has taught since 2002. He has been awarded a Desmos Fellowship, has been a two-time national semi-finalist for the Museum of Math’s Rosenthal Prize, and was the inaugural winner of USN’s Bovender Family Faculty Chair for “modeling the best in innovative teaching practices and thorough involvement in the life of the school”.
Joel is a founding member of The Educators’ Cooperative and served on the Advisory Committee since its inception until 2021, and now sits on the Board of Directors. He served as the director of EdCampNash from 2018-2021.

 

Science Presenters:

Sara Tipton

Sara Tipton

Sara Tipton has 18 yrs of experience in education. 13 of those years were spent in the classroom, mostly at the middle school level, where she taught 6th, 7th, and 8th grade science along with biology. After she left the classroom she became an instructional coach for the science department at Grand Prairie High School. She planned and provided weekly professional development for the department and coached teachers on the implementation of the PD in their classrooms. This year she is currently serving as an assistant principal at Grand Prairie High School while pursuing her Doctorate in Educational Leadership. Sara is a strong instructional leader and experienced presenter that is committed to the growth of teachers. During her career she’s been Teacher of the Year, Top 12 finisher for FWISD Tech Idol, a finalist for Teaching Chair for Excellence in Middle School STEM, and Principal Fellow through Texas Tech University.

Lenora Tygart

Lenora Tygart

Lenora Tygart has been teaching for 10 years and all 10 years have been with Grand Prairie ISD. She has taught both 6th and 8th-grade Science. Currently she teaches 6th Leadership and coaches Archery, Basketball, and Soccer. Lenora Tygart earned her Masters of Arts in Teaching from Dallas Baptist University in 2013. Prior to being a teacher, she served in the US Army.

 

Joanna Baxter

Joanna Baxter

Joanna Baxter: I love anything Science…but mostly Biology and the outdoors, so much so that I earned a degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Management from Texas Tech.  I have my teacher certification for Science 4-8 from Region 10.  Some of my hobbies are hiking, drawing and gardening.  I am married with 3 kids.  I have been teaching at Red Oak ISD for 17 years.  At present, I am teaching 7th grade science (12 years) but have also taught 8th grade science (5 years) and Robotics (7 years).  I currently coach an after school robotics team that competes in the FIRST LEGO League Challenge.

Brooke Schuster

Brooke Schuster

Brooke Schuster has been an educator for 15 years. She earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Baylor University and a Master’s degree from UT Arlington in Curriculum and Instruction, Science Education.  Brooke has taught high school science, served as an instructional coach, and is currently teaching middle school science.  She has learned so much from countless hours of professional development as well through the many experiences that come with teaching a diverse group of students. Brooke thinks that teaching middle school is the best-kept secret and is really enjoying all of the work that makes teaching middle school a challenge and a joy. 

 

* Pre-AP is a registered trademark of the College Board, which was not involved in the development and delivery of the Institute for Teaching Excellence professional development workshop.