ISPA teacher helps parents with ‘math nights’

Originally aired on WNEP-TV – October 11, 2020

Nicole Manley of Bloomsburg is a math teacher at the Insight PA Cyber Charter School, teaching third through fifth grade. While teachers and students at this school were already well versed in virtual learning before the COVID-19 pandemic, Manley says there was a huge increase in enrollment this year.

“Last year, I think we ended the school year with maybe 700 kids in the elementary school. Now I think we’re up to 1,300, just in the elementary school,” said Manley.

Manley found that along with the increase in enrollment came more families who were not used to virtual learning. As students struggled with math, some parents did not feel equipped to help them. As a solution, Manley started “math nights,” a workshop for students and parents.

“Let me help you figure out how to teach your kids because a lot of learning coaches, they’re not teachers. Also, some of them don’t feel like they’re strong in math and say, ‘I know she needs help, but I don’t know how to help her.'”

Manley says this hits close to home because she struggled with math as a child.

“I was always lost. I fell behind, and I stayed behind. And then I found my niche. My heart was really in helping students who are in the same position I was.”

When it comes to families who are new at virtual learning, Manley suggests parents take it one step at a time.

“Do a little bit of work and take a break. Do a little bit more work and take a break. When you are learning coach and parent, that’s two full-time jobs.”

Manley holds her “math nights” sessions for the charter school parents every other week.

To learn more about Insight PA Cyber Charter School, visit insightpa.k12.com

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