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Stories from Mathematics Specialists: Transitioning from Classroom to Coach


Elementary schools are increasingly hiring mathematics specialists to work as on-site experts to assist educators with the changes in mathematics standards, curriculum, and expectations for teaching practices. These mathematics specialists usually enter into their positions without formal training and find themselves as novices in their roles. The purpose of this study was to understand the experience of transitioning into mathematics specialist roles in independent elementary schools across Southern California. This study included interviews with 16 math specialists to gather their stories of transition and learning. The major finding of this study indicated that the ability to build relationships was a necessary skill for math specialists as they continued to build their pedagogical and content knowledge and managed both the successes and challenges of their new roles.

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