Stacey Hubbard joined the grade school faculty three years ago as part of SFWS’s efforts to strengthen its middle school math program. Recently retired SFWS Upper Grades Resource Teacher Susan Cook began the work of transforming how we support class teachers as the students rise to the pre-algebra and algebra level. Ms. Hubbard became our first full time dedicated middle school math teacher in 2010.
Stacey notes that one of the challenges she faces on a daily basis are keeping it relevant – finding problems and examples that are “real” for 11 to 14 year olds. Sometimes the students need to leave the classroom mentally or physically to observe math in the world around them. The classes at SFWS are generally fairly mixed in natural aptitude for math. This can create challenges but also opportunities. Ms. Hubbard notes that strong math students often clarify and solidify their knowledge when having to explain problems to classmates. She also finds that students learn a great deal from each other’s questions and the variety of ways that their classmates might approach a given problem. A key element that Ms. Hubbard tries to instill in the middle school students is the question, “Is my answer reasonable?” This forces them to look at what they are trying to solve and not just go mechanically through the process that they are learning. More than anything else, Ms. Hubbard hopes to share with her students her appreciation for the “invisible and perfect elements of mathematics,” as well as the joy of solving a challenging problem.
Ms. Hubbard discovered Waldorf education as a parent looking for schools for her son, Lucas. She originally heard about it from her mid-wife and eventually enrolled Lucas in a Waldorf nursery. He is now in our 6th grade. Ms. Hubbard completed an undergraduate double major at University of Southern California in International Relations and Gender Studies, but she always retained a strong passion for math and logical thinking. She took some time off after her undergraduate degrees and then found herself drawn to the logical thinking in computer programming when considering a master’s degree. The inspiration she found while taking math classes at a graduate level, including the elegance she saw in putting a math proof on the board, led her to change her focus to mathematics. Before joining the faculty at SFWS, Ms. Hubbard was teaching in the mathematics department at Skyline College. She is currently in her second year with the Bay Area Center for Waldorf Teacher Training (BACWTT).
Fun facts about Ms. Hubbard:
- Her favorite historical mathematician is Archimedes
- She traveled the world in the 90’s working for a rock band.
- She loves volleyball
- She supported herself during grad school in part by working as a florist
- Her thesis title was “Long Memory Processes with Applications to Data”