CREEDE — The Creede School District Board of Education recognized elementary school math teacher Jim Tillery during a school board meeting on Oct. 25.
Tillery has been with the district in several roles over many years. As a math teacher for the elementary school, he is working with students to find unique and interesting ways that they can learn math by using real-life situations and examples.
“In my journeys throughout the building and my walk-throughs, I kept coming up on this one classroom where these students are just bouncing with joy about learning math and science and engineering. Mr. Tillery has done some really remarkable things and I thought it would be appropriate for him to come and share with you today,” said Creede School Superintendent Keith Crispell.
Tillery was accompanied by one of his students who volunteered to help with his presentation to the school board. Tillery began the presentation by stating that it was a learning curve for him coming into a third-grade classroom after teaching in high school for so many years and that he wanted to look at creative ways to help students learn hard subjects.
“It’s a big deal to get into the classroom and be creative in ways to teach them how to learn and then apply it to real-life scenarios and that is way better than sitting here and teaching repetitively. That can be hard, there is a lot of repetition but if you can apply it somehow to real life it helps them learn,” said Tillery.
Tillery then pulled out a bowling score sheet that had been written on the whiteboard and his third-grade assistant worked through the missing numbers predicting what score would come up next using mathematical equations from memory. The process gained the attention of the board who clapped when the assistant was finished.
Tillery then said that the students have been using tricks to help them apply mathematical concepts to real-life situations and, in this case, the students are learning how to create scores. Tillery’s assistant also showed the board that he can calculate multiplication problems involving the number nine on his fingers, again using a trick that was taught to him by Tillery.
Students in Tillery’s class will be going on a field trip soon to a neighboring bowling alley as a reward for their success in the classroom.
The Creede School Board of Education was pleased with Tillery and his assistant’s presentation and asked that they keep them posted as they move forward.