Beth Ann Beerbower has a passion for teaching math. Whether it is her own students or helping a friend’s child with geometry, Beerbower likes helping others get over their fear of math.
“I like to try to make math as easy and manageable for kids as possible,” she said.
Beerbower teaches fifth-grade GATE math, science and social studies at Flowertown Elementary. This is her sixth year at Flowertown and her eighth year overall in DD2; she started at Oakbrook Middle teaching eighth-grade math for two years.
Beerbower is from Fairmont, West Virginia. She has both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in elementary education through West Virginia University, and she has a specialization in math.
When she was in college Beerbower worked in a summer reading program for underprivileged children. Working with them showed her what a difference a teacher can make, and that inspired her to change her major from pharmacy to education her second year of college.
When she graduated college in 2009 Beerbower said there was a hiring freeze for teachers. She said she knew she wanted to move south of West Virginia and put in applications in a lot of different places but said she had trouble landing an interview because nobody was hiring. She did the South Carolina state application and ended up getting a call from the DD2 office, and she subsequently landed her first job at Oakbrook Middle.
Beerbower’s heart was always in teaching elementary so when she got the opportunity to move to Flowertown Elementary, she took it.
Beerbower said the first thing she does every year is build a relationship with her students to let them know she cares about them. Once she has that relationship with them, Beerbower said she usually doesn’t have any trouble getting her students to work hard and bring out the best in them.
Beerbower said she enjoys teaching the most when she is teaching math and science together. She said this year there is a new focus on engineering standards and students have been doing a lot more problem-solving creatively, as well as more creative thinking.
Beerbower’s GATE students have a lot of math and science knowledge and she said they are able to apply it in a different way when they do engineering activities in the classroom.
“I enjoy teaching most whenever I get to do those types of activities with my students,” she said.
This is Beerbower’s fourth year serving as the robotics coach at Flowertown Elementary and her students are getting ready for the state competition. She has 12 fourth- and fifth-graders who practice with her two to three times a week. Their team is called the Bee Bots.
Beerbower is also the fifth-grade team leader this year for the school and serves on the fifth grade GATE planning committee for the district. She is the 2015-2016 Teacher of the Year and is part of the district Teacher Forum.
Her professional goal is to do something with math to reach more students than just her classroom. Beerbower was a member of the LearnZillion Dream Team for two years, which is an online website that has lessons for math students for every grade level. Beerbower was part of a group of teachers who came together to create lessons for that and also made videos to teach students how to do math.
“Really my passion is teaching math and helping as many children as possible kind of get over that math phobia that everyone seems to have nowadays,” she said.
Beerbower resides in Summerville. She plays slow pitch softball and said she enjoys going to the movies, hanging out with friends and visiting family in West Virginia. She also tutors.
Beerbower said her life goal is to do what makes her happy and enjoy her life at all times.
“I try to stay as positive as possible all the time and just keep smiling,” she said.
Beerbower’s favorite thing about Flowertown is the children and the families they have.
“They’re supportive, they’re helpful, they’re interested in their kids," she said, "and the kids themselves, the things that they come up with, they’re so smart and so willing to work hard and think creatively – that’s my favorite thing, is just coming and spending time with them and really…learning and teaching together.”