Math Teacher Douglas Guyette to Speak at National Math Conference


Skylar Schultz, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

Douglas Guyette, math teacher and YouTube star (thanks to his IB math videos), will be taking his interesting take on teaching to the streets. More specifically, he will be speaking at the National Council of Teacher of Math, or NCTM for short.

“Every subject area has a national organization that sort of takes care of professional development and tries to drive progress and education,” said Guyette. The NCTM’s official website describes itself as “the world’s largest mathematics education organization.” Their mission? To “[advocate] for high-quality mathematics teaching and learning for each and every student.”

“At annual meetings,” explained Guyette, “usually there are keynote speakers that will talk about important issues that are facing the nation, and then there’ll be dozens and dozens of breakout sessions where other teachers or professionals will share strategies or tips that they’re using that are effective. I’ll be doing one of those breakout sessions. I’ll be talking about how I assess math.”

Guyette actually enlisted himself for the role. 

“They actually put out calls for proposals for speakers, and I volunteered to share what I have,” he recalled. “They liked what I had, so they invited me to come in and speak.”

Any student who has experienced Guyette as a teacher will know just what he has to share. 

“It’s about the getting rid of points and arbitrary cut scores and instead assessing on finding the quality of work that students do and evaluating it holistically,” he reflected. “That’s what I share. I try to encourage other teachers to abandon the point system because it’s inherently unfair.”

While his methods are unorthodox, they appear to be undeniably effective.

“Yeah, it’s working,” he stated. “In fact, I’ve been doing it for six years now, and every year I get better and better results because I get better at crafting it.”

Guyette is eager to share his findings at this year’s event called the Math Education Research Celebration: Recognition, Inspiration, and Celebration, which will be held in Chicago on April 1, 2020.

“Oh, I’m really excited. Last year’s event was in San Diego, and this year it’s in Chicago in April, so it’s not quite as glamorous, but I’m really looking forward to it,” he said. 

“This is the second biggest conference that I’ve been able to present at. I’ve presented before at the IB Conference of the Americas a few years ago, and that was  pretty amazing,” he recalled. “This is pretty close to that scale. It’s their 100th annual conference, so it’s a big, special anniversary.”

While Guyette will be sharing his beliefs, techniques and love of mathematics with his educational peers, we will all be April Fools, waiting for our favorite YouTuber to return to class.