Get ready to meet a math maverick like no other! Vanguard Collegiate’s (VC Indy) resident math teacher has a flair for solving equations and a knack for connecting with scholars with social-emotional needs. Her name is Ms. Tina Siddle, and she’s the perfect blend of educator and empath. Let’s dive in with a Q&A to learn more about her teaching style.

What inspired you to become an elementary school math teacher?

My inspiration for becoming a math teacher stems from my love of mathematics and science at an early age and my desire to make a positive difference in the lives of young people. It wasn’t until my freshman year in college that I had my first Black math teacher/professor. (She was awesome!!!)

What do you think are the most important skills and concepts for students to learn in elementary school math, and how do you help them master these concepts?

The most important skills and concepts for students to learn in elementary school math are adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing. Once proficient in these four basic operations and understanding the inverse/opposite operations, students will have the foundational skills to become successful scholars in Algebra 1.

Vanguard teacher Tina Siddle stands in front of smart board teaching math class to students.

How do you differentiate your instruction to meet the diverse needs of your students in math class?

I differentiate my instruction to meet students’ diverse needs by meeting them where they are in math class. In addition to the main curriculum, I use supplemental platforms to support struggling scholars and similar platforms to stretch those scholars showing proficiency with mathematical subtopics. This means bringing everyone up to their next level.

The Director of Scholar Experience is a new role – tell us more about it. 

The role of Director of Scholar Experience is an extremely exciting opportunity to provide scholars with unique learning lenses beyond the classroom. Our scholars have experienced outings such as:

  • Butter2 Art Exhibit at The Stutz Building
  • 16 Teach tour of Machyne at The Amp
  • “Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mosby: Let Them See” at The Children’s Museum
  • The Horizon League Women’s Championship at the Indiana State Fairgrounds
  • The Page Program at the Indiana Statehouse
  • Leadership Retreat at Herron Riverside High School
  • STR8 UP-Frederick Douglass at the Indiana State Museum
  • Several high school presentations and shadow days for our 8th-grade scholars

These were just some of the learning opportunities scholars at Vanguard Collegiate of Indianapolis were exposed to this academic school year.

What do you love most about your students?

One of the things I love most about my students is seeing those “ah ha” moments after struggling through a problem or hearing, “I understand how they did it, but I did it this way and got the same answer.” Or my favorite is seeing peer tutoring, where one student demonstrates mastery while explaining the problem to another student.

What are you most excited about for the next students enrolling at VC Indy? 

What excites me most about the next group of students that enroll at VC Indy is the continuation of the legacy: Learn.Serve.Lead. “I will LEARN something new every day, I will SERVE my community by being a positive role model, I will LEAD by example.”

What else would you like us to know about YOU? 

I believe that Mathematics is a language that all VC Indy scholars will learn to appreciate and speak beautifully.

About Vanguard Collegiate of Indianapolis

Vanguard Collegiate of Indianapolis (Vanguard) is a close-knit middle school with a big impact. Serving grades 6-8, we are a public charter offering innovative learning and wraparound social services. Our goal is to prepare our scholars for success in high school and beyond. At Vanguard, we believe in “opening doors” for our scholars through engaging academics, a safe environment, leadership development, and a strong sense of community. Enroll your scholar today!