University of Wisconsin Oshkosh mathematician Amy Parrott will receive the 2017 Distinguished Teaching Award from the Wisconsin Section of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) April 21, for her great success in teaching mathematics.
The award was created in 1991 to showcase the importance of teaching mathematics at colleges and universities in Wisconsin. Parrott is the 21st recipient of the award and the third from UW Oshkosh.
Parrott received her doctorate from the University of Nebraska. She teaches math courses that are primarily for future elementary school teachers and middle school specialists. One of her courses, a graduate course for future teachers, focuses on mathematical problem-solving.
UWO math professor Jen Szydlik said, “Parrott’s students learn to persist at solving problems and to explain ideas to one another using powerful mathematical language. She teaches students that doing mathematics means looking at patterns and generalizing. Students learn that mathematical rules can be proven and that they are capable of making sense of a proof.”
Parrott preps her students for what teaching will be like from her experience as a high school student teacher for one year.
“Dr. Parrott has been on the path to achieving teaching excellence since she arrived at UW Oshkosh,” said John Koker, College of Letters and Science dean. “She approaches teaching seriously and by using a variety of active learning, inquiry-based pedagogical techniques and is successful in reaching her students. Dr. Parrott is a dedicated teacher who is deeply interested in the preparation of our future teachers.”
One of Parrott’s favorite things about teaching is being able to diminish the fear that students have about math. Her advice to future teachers is to always believe in your students.
“If I end up with a student or two who can say that they didn’t like taking math before my class, but now they like math, I call that a win,” Parrott said.