How PLT Helped Me

Member Profile: Brandy King

Brandy King

“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,” at cliteacher.blogspot.com.

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.”

Member Profile: Sarah DeVan

Sarah Devan

Sarah DeVan’s PLT membership has helped her get her career off to a fast start.

DeVan, a five-year member, is in her second year as a 5th-grade teacher at an elementary school in Fallston, Md. During her years at Washington College, she took advantage of the leadership opportunities PLT provides by serving as the student vice president on the PLT international board. Locally, she was the chapter president, vice president, and membership chair.

In addition to honing her leadership skills, PLT offered opportunities for her to grow professionally and provided connections to other educators.

“I learned a lot of effective instructional strategies from the conferences I attended with PLT,” she said. “I learned about multicultural book recommendations and the latest research on the achievement gap, which provided fresh ideas and encouraged me to think outside of the box to meet the needs of my students. I also learned strategies for collaboration and co-teaching to work with colleagues effectively.”

Now a member at large, DeVan is pursuing her master’s degree at the College of Notre Dame in Maryland.