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Empowering New Mexico's Educators: A Partnership for Student Success

July 7, 2023|By Genesis Moreno

The New Mexico Public Education Department (NMPED) has partnered with the Charles A. Dana Center on multiple professional learning programs to support educators. A two-year program to prepare students for success in Algebra 1 has just begun, offering online and in-person professional learning opportunities for over 20 schools statewide.  



Professional Learning In New Mexico  

New Mexico’s professional learning focuses on common core math progressions, with each session building on the last. Topics such as formative assessment practices, modeling, standard coherence, and culturally responsive teaching are tackled through hands-on learning.  

“I can now recognize that when students miss the conceptual understanding in earlier grades, it means they will have a harder time with conceptual understanding later,” said a participant about their experience.  

Unlike professional development for teachers, these sessions are available not only to educators, but also to administrators and instructional coaches.  

“One of the unique things about this work is that it involves whole school teams, not just teaching staff. They’re all engaged in a common learning experience and get the same message. When they implement what they’ve learned to their school site, their barriers to implementation are lower.”  

Shafiq Chaudry, Director of Math & Science Bureau, NMPED  

Last year, NMPED’s professional learning series on early numeracy focused on math foundations for grades K–6. After wrapping up sessions on early numeracy and formative assessment, the Algebra 1 series for whole school teams began in two locations in New Mexico: Albuquerque and Las Cruces.  

professional-development-for-teachers“Most of us were taught the traditional way. When I became a teacher, I avoided teaching math because I knew the formulas, but I never understood them. It wasn’t until I figured out [the meaning of mathematical concepts] for myself that I realized I didn’t hate math;, I just didn’t like how it was taught. It inspired me to spread the message that there is a better way.”  
-Mike Greenlee, professional learning and implementation specialist, Dana Center

Over 100 participants across the state joined the two-day training to deepen their mathematical knowledge among peers. “Understanding the why in what we’re teaching is so important and I’m glad to be here for it,” said a participant.

Group A of Algebra 1 series in Albuquerque, New Mexico, for the three-day summer kickoff training on math standards.

New Mexico Educators Share Their Experience  

Teachers who’ve experienced these professional learning sessions recommend them wholeheartedly. They allow you to intentionally spend time with your school team and other educators from across the state, diving into content they may not have time to do during their normal workday. They’re also able to bring new teaching practices into their classrooms right away. 

“Focus on Algebra” will include 16 synchronous professional learning sessions throughout 2025, available through two- to four-day professional learning seminars. To learn more about our partnerships or professional learning in New Mexico, contact us. 


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About the Author

Genesis Moreno

It’s been both a challenge and an incredible joy to discover the right combination of words to share an idea. Dedicating my career to exploring creativity has led me to meaningful work that empowers others. Working at the Charles A. Dana Center is where my passion for purpose and creativity meet.