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Meet Norma Gordon- BetterLesson’s Director of Teacher Learning

June 18, 2013

Norma GBetterLesson is thrilled to introduce the newest member of our expanding team. Norma Gordon is joining BetterLesson as the Director of Teacher Learning.

Welcome to BetterLesson, Norma! What were you up to before joining BL?

I’m from Montreal and have an Engineering degree from McGill University. I lived in the Toronto area while I studied at McMaster University and  I have spent some time in Melbourne, Australia. When I got married we moved to Massachusetts and have stayed and raised our family here. My passion for (math) education surfaced after I enjoyed a career in the biotechnology and technology consulting industries.  For 15 years I had the pleasure of teaching middle and high school math in the community I live in (Lexington, MA) and most recently I worked at the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary education.

Why join BetterLesson?

I chose BetterLesson because BetterLesson “gets it”. By “it” I mean the team understands that teachers matter more to student achievement than any other aspect of schooling.  Personally, my best teaching was often the result of collaboration with fellow teachers (not always math teachers!) and occasionally even my students. That said, I am excited to be a part of an innovative team providing a platform for teachers that encourages, fosters and supports collaboration using high-quality (common core aligned) curriculum.  I recently came across this (William Butler) Yeats quote: “Education is not the filling a bucket but the lighting of a fire.” While Yeats was thinking in a teacher- student context, I think this as tremendously relevant to  teachers transitioning to the Common Core. Teachers’ buckets are being filled, even overfilled, and I am thrilled to be able to play a part in helping them manage their load. I hope we can  kindle (or rekindle) their fires, and help teachers everywhere aspire to and achieve greatness!

What was your favorite subject in school?

Math (shocker!) I have always enjoyed the “puzzling” aspect of mathematics – the “reasoning and sense making”. My favorite part about teaching math was when students (including colleagues) had their own “ah ha” moments. A close second was seeing students make connections and use mathematics beyond my classroom in art, music, sports, and history. I have been told by more than a few people that I can make a math connection to just about anything!

A Fun Fact ( or in Norma’s case facts):

1) I trained in classical ballet throughout college and for a few years beyond.
2) I can “sell shoes in French”. I grew up in Montreal but lived in a predominantly English community so when people ask me if I speak French that’s my go to answer.  While I learned French in school I really only used it selling shoes as a part-time job while attending McGill.
3) In my freshman year Engineering class (Melbourne, Australia) I was one of three women in a class of about 300 students!

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