Giving Thanks — Looking Back on 2014

TEXT (4)I’ve just returned from my tenth consecutive week of travel and welcome the arrival of Thanksgiving. A brief break from out-of-town training and coaching jobs affords the opportunity to once again take stock and reflect on the past year, both personally and professionally. (Past Giving Thanks posts are here: 2013, 2012 and 2011)

As I enter my eight year as a Singapore Math® trainer, consultant and coach, I continue to be amazed by the wonderful opportunities that continue to come my way.

I say this every year, but it continues to be true: I am so grateful to be able to champion elementary math education and GET PAID to spend time in classrooms with teachers and students.  I extend my heartfelt thanks to everyone who has played a part in making the year so special.

2014 has been my busiest year ever. I’ve spent more than 30 weeks traveling across North American (and Germany for a week)Cassy Trip-it 2014 to work with schools and present seminars. I’ve been to Denver International Airport so much that Google recognizes it as my office. Don’t get me wrong: I love to travel, especially when the end result is helping teachers hone their skills to make students more competent and confident math learners.

Changing Role and 2014 Highlights

This year, more than half of the schools I visited were repeat and long-term clients where my role often was that of an instructional coach. I still love to present introductory workshops and lead implementation trainings (the Ah Ha! moments are truly priceless), but it’s been especially rewarding to spend time with teachers working at a deeper level.  At these schools, I’ve also hosted lots of parent education events, including hands-on bootcamps, to help ensure that Singaporean methods are reinforced at home. Best of all schools are achieving remarkable results (more on that to come).

There are many highlights from 2014, including:

  • Working with 28 school clients in 9 states and Germany, where I had the opportunity to work with teachers at the International School of Hamburg!
  • Acceptance of proposals to present at the 2015 Annual Conferences at Annual Conferences of both the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM, for the second time!) and NCSM (for the first time). Lauri Susi of Conceptua Math is my co-presenter;
  • Presenting Singapore Math Workshops for the Bureau of Education of Research (for the sixth consecutive year!);
  • Presenting  at the Tennessee Conference on Singapore Math Strategies hosted by SDE.
  • Meeting my personal “continuing education” goals by attending:
    • Annual conferences of NCTM and NCSM (for the 6th consecutive year);
    • The National Charter Schools Conference (for the first time);
    • SDE’s National Conference on Singapore Math Strategies (for the second consecutive year); and
  • Earning A-list Preferred status on Southwest Airlines (didn’t I say I love to travel!).
Singapore Math Trainer Cassandra Turner at the International School in Hamburg

Cassy (2nd from L) with teachers and staff at the International School of Hamburg

2014 by the Numbers

Continents visited (I’ve now conducted trainings on four continents; c’mon South America and Asia…I’d love to visit there, too)
States visited to work with school clients
States visited to conduct Singapore Math seminars or trainings
Singapore Math presentations conducted for parents
Seminars presented for BER
Days working directly with teachers
of inquiries from teachers, administrators and parents with questions about Singapore Math curriculum responded to
103,448 and counting 
Miles flown 


Special Thanks

My sincere thanks to all the administrators, teachers and support staff I worked with in 2014. ( You know who you are!) I so appreciate your dedication to students and your trust and confidence in me!  A hearty thank you as well to my other long-time partners and supporters:

      • Singapore Math Inc.
      • Bureau of Education of Research (BER)
      • EAI Education
      • Staff Development for Educators (SDE)
One of my favorite evaluations from 2014

One of my favorite evaluations from 2014

Singapore Math Source

Now in its seventh year, continues to be an authoritative resource for those seeking information about the curriculum. This year, I completed a long-planned, thorough comparison of the two leading Singapore Math® curricula available in the US: Primary Mathematics and Math in Focus. (Quite a few of my school clients are using Math in Focus). I also updated my popular page on Singapore math iPad apps.


2014 has been personally gratifying as:

  • We celebrated our youngest son’s high school graduation. It’s hard to believe we have two students at Colorado State University. It’s not hard to believe one is a math major!
  • I once again reached my goal of reading 50 books in the year. As of this date, I am at 89!
  • I continue to serve on the Board of the Middle School Math Institute, a non-profit dedicated to helping students succeed at algebra.
  • I continue to serve on the District Accountability Committee for the Poudre School District.

Looking ahead

2015 promises to be just as busy and exciting. I’m really looking forward to:

  • Continuing to work with many schools that have retained me on a long-term basis;
  • Visiting teachers, administrators and parents at schools that hire me for the first time (believe it or not, my fall 2015 schedule is starting to fill up);
  • Presenting at the 2015 Annual Conferences of NCTM and NCSM in Boston (and hopefully other events);
  • Presenting BER workshops for a seventh consecutive year;
  • Sharing news about the successes some of the schools I work with are achieving — please let me know if you want to be a part of this series; and
  • Other opportunities that are, as yet, unknown. I can’t wait to see what is ahead!

Once again, my sincerest thanks to my clients, colleagues and partners for making 2014 such a wonderful year. If I may be of service at any time, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me.

As passionate as ever about Singapore Mathematics!


About Cassy Turner

Passionate about Singapore Math + Teacher Trainer and Coach + Treasure Hunter + Learner. Answer to the ultimate question? 42.

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