Co-Written with Jo Weller

Thank you for a life changing experience!- Participating Teacher
Who are we reaching? Over 8,500 students annually


  • 92 participating teachers serving a reported 8,530 students annually
  • 10 on-site participants/82 virtual participants with a Day 1 to Day 4 retention rate of 98%
  • 50% Middle School: 49% High School: 1 % Higher Ed
  • 52% Private: 40% Public: 8% Charter
  • 74% 1st Time Attendees: 16% 2nd Time Attendees: 10% 3+ Time Attendees
  • Content Areas of Greatest Request: Algebra and Geometry
  • 98% of post-survey responders would recommend EMI to a colleague
Notable to this year is the increase in first time attendees.

Year 5 of EMI was one for the books as we reached a total of 92 teachers with 10 on-site at Rockhurst High School and 82 attending virtually. Through small group sizes ranging from 10 – 15 and the utilization of Zoom, Canvas – virtual learning platform, and Limnu – collaborative whiteboard, the retention rate from Day 1 to Day 4 was 98%.

The most notable change in attendee profile was the increase in middle school teachers from both the private and public school sectors. With the intentional effort in 2019 to expand the EMI reach to middle schools, the first year was moderately successful in providing content at a level that was comfortable and relevant to middle school. This year showed a far greater percent of positive feedback among middle school participants.

Notable to this year is the increase in first time attendees. In addition to onboarding new schools, several teachers reported that they are joining schools with “EMI-trained” math faculty. It is encouraging to see schools and faculty adopting the EMI pedagogy of problem-based learning as part of their culture and recommendation for professional development. Consistent with previous years, about 60% of educators come from public or charter schools while the remaining 40% are employed at private schools.

Every year I attend EMI, I gain a different perspective and experience. I gain empathy with problem-solving and learning what good struggles look like.- Participating Teacher
Consistent with previous years, about 60% of educators come from public or charter schools while the remaining 40% are employed at private schools.
What areas of mathematical study are we developing? Primarily Algebra and Geometry

Although Exeter offers professional development in areas from beginning Algebra through AP Calculus and Statistics, Algebra and Geometry remain the areas of greatest demand. This is in a large part reflective of the high proportion of middle school teachers participating in EMI. Additionally, this may be reflective of teachers at the AP/dual credit level selecting professional development through the College Board or credit-granting universities which are more in direct alignment with the required curriculum.

Even though I teach 6th grade, there was so much of the course that was applicable to my students. I appreciated the problem-based learning, as that is what I currently use. It was so helpful to work through the problems like a student and experience math again from the student perspective.- Participating Teacher

The five areas of mathematical study for EMI 2020 were as follows:

  • Engaging Algebra Problems – using graphing technology to make algebra more accessible and relatable
  • Hands on Algebra I – incorporating the use of manipulatives, physical and digital, to demonstrate and visualize algebra
  • Hands on Geometry – focusing on the creation of geometric shapes to reveal underlying patterns
  • Problems that Bridge Algebra & Geometry to Higher Level Math – how to not learn it and lose it
  • Action Oriented Trig – 100% application-based approach to Trigonometry
What did attendees say? 98% of Post-Survey Responders Would Recommend EMI

In a confidential post-survey, teachers were asked fourteen Likert-scale questions regarding the successful impact of EMI. Questions were based on a 5-point agreement scale with 5 representing “Strongly Agree”. Although all questions received an average rating above 4.0, the one noticeable negative impact with working virtually this year was “the ability to implement hands-on learning”.

Hybrid Model

Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Exeter Mathematics Institute this summer featured a hybrid model. Twelve participants attended in-person at Rockhurst High School while the other eighty educators attended virtually. Additionally, the instructors from the Phillips Exeter Academy facilitated the workshop virtually.

There were two benefits to this setup. For the educators, they got to experience virtual learning from the student perspective. Furthermore, the teachers learned how to manage an online class as well as utilize and experiment with various digital tools such as Desmos, Zoom and Limnu.

Modeling what a student-led ONLINE environment can look like was encouraging and informative. Definitely plan to tell my colleagues and find ways to incorporate this into our rhythms this Fall. Collaborating across schools was also refreshing. Seeing some of the same struggles and hearing different strategies and experiences opened my eyes and excites me to continue.- Participating Teacher

Another benefit of the setup was that it allowed Rockhurst to test its safety plan for in-person school in the Fall of 2020. While Rockhurst learned a number of helpful lessons regarding effective and safe in-person school, overall the participants felt very safe. This increased the school’s confidence level heading into the new academic year.

I truly enjoyed the course. This really modeled what a student-centered instructional environment should look like. The discussion was beneficial and robust. It gave an opportunity to dig deeper into problems, and to identify potential pitfalls with students. All problems provided opportunities for scaffolding and for extending student learning. This was a very rich experience and I am a better teacher for having been a part of this conversation. Thank You.- Participating Teacher
Amazing experience! Grew as a teacher in just one week!- Participating Teacher