“When will I use this?” is a question that’s disappeared from Brandy King’s classroom. And that’s no small feat for an algebra teacher.

King, a Pi Lambda Theta member in the Detroit Area chapter, is a 9th-grade Algebra I teacher at Highland Park Community High School in Highland Park, Mich. She’s also a Certified Implementation Specialist for Carnegie Learning Inc. Implementing the research-based Carnegie curriculum in her classroom has allowed her to show her students the real-world reasons for mastering algebra.

“Three days a week, my students are in groups learning new math topics through real-life scenarios and cooperative learning,” said King, who has been teaching for four years at the urban Highland Park school.

Eventually, she may want to become a teacher of teachers. Since having the Carnegie certification gives her the opportunity to train other teachers, it’s a good way for her to see if it’s something she wants to pursue. She also writes a blog for Carnegie, “A Day in the Life of a Carnegie Learning Teacher.”

Becoming certified in the Carnegie curriculum isn’t the only way King has displayed her leadership savvy. She served as the graduate student vice president of PLT for the past two years, and she says it has helped her improve her professional skills.

“The experience of being graduate student vice president allowed me to find my voice as a leader in my school,” King said. “I joined the school improvement and governance teams, and my principal told me that he noticed a difference in me. The PLT board taught me that although I only have a few years experience in teaching, I have valid ideas that are worth sharing. That same year, I was awarded teacher of the year at my school, and I believe PLT helped me to earn that award.”

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