Karen Ismari is a high school math teacher at New Mexico Connections Academy (NMCA). She earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in instruction and curricular students with a concentration in math education from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Ms. Ismari began teaching in 1998 and joined NMCA in 2015. She shares below why she enjoys teaching at NMCA.
“I was previously a stay-at-home mom working with my three young children. I was inspired by the amount of fun I had while teaching them, so I decided to go to college and become a teacher. I love the support that the NMCA administration offers me as an educator. The environment is extremely positive, and I feel encouraged to grow as a teacher while my strengths are solidly identified and commended by administration. The belief that ‘happy teachers=happy students’ is fostered on a daily basis by administration.
I love working with my students both individually and in small groups, and getting to know each student. I find there is more time available to work with students until they ‘get it.’ Students understand that I am here to help them learn—not to torture them through math hour. The teachers are in contact on a regular daily basis. The community cycle of learning is outstanding—it is more connected (teacher to teacher, teacher to administrator, teacher to parent, and teacher to student) than in a traditional school setting.
The curriculum at NMCA is rigorous, and students can work without distractions. Students get real-time feedback on submitted assessments and assignments. They are able to take ownership in their learning and work with family members on concepts. The strong support team that students have with NMCA (parents, teachers, and administrators) encourages students to succeed and constantly seek their personal best. Students build on successes in school to open up bright future possibilities.
Aside from teaching, I love art, music, and nature. I also enjoy quality time with family and pets. I have four children and five dogs. I am originally from Las Vegas, Nevada and have been teaching in New Mexico for 10 years.”
The curriculum at NMCA is rigorous, and students can work without distractions. Students get real-time feedback on submitted assessments and assignments. They are able to take ownership in their learning and work with family members on concepts.