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Fri, July 30

New math intervention teacher Dalton Jackson brings the joy of learning to Williams Elementary-Middle School students

Williams Elementary-Middle School math intervention teacher  Dalton Jackson gets excited about math during his first week on the job. Ryan Williams/WGCN

Williams Elementary-Middle School math intervention teacher Dalton Jackson gets excited about math during his first week on the job. Ryan Williams/WGCN

WILLIAMS, Ariz. - Williams Middle School math intervention teacher Dalton Jackson wasn't always good at math.

"I struggled in math my whole life," he said. "Then I started getting it and it just seemed like so many of my math teachers were what you think of with a math teacher, that straight 'Okay seven divided by...' So I thought it would be great to go teach math and do it differently."

Now he's getting his chance to do that by teaching students who need some extra help in the subject.

Jackson started teaching math intervention in Williams on Jan. 5. His position is paid for through Title I funds, which the Arizona Department of Education provides to districts that serve low-income student populations.

Math intervention is a separate class to reinforce what students learn in their regular math class. The intervention group is a smaller class size, with between five and 12 students.

"We do things at a slower pace," Jackson said. "We get to revisit concepts. We also get a chance to do some more advanced stuff with some of the kids."

Now that Jackson is on board, Williams Elementary-Middle School (WEMS) has intervention teachers in both math and reading at both the elementary and middle school levels.

With Arizona's College and Career Ready Standards in place, the extra help in the intervention classes ensures students are up to speed in some of their core subject areas.

In his first week, Jackson already had several ideas for how to make math more accessible for students.

"We're hoping that once we get all this going that I can branch out a little bit and maybe do some work with the science classes and things like that and bring math across the different subjects," he said.

Jackson hopes to start working with the elementary intervention class as well.

"We're hoping to start getting some of these kids to do some tutoring and things like that to give them an opportunity to maybe go work with some of the younger kids and build their confidence up because most kids in junior high don't like math," he said. "The other thing we're trying to do too is build up where they start enjoying math a little bit if that is humanly possible."

WEMS Principal Bryan Lords said Jackson is well suited for the job.

"He has an amazing personality," he said. "He loves to talk. He intermingles with the kids and also with the teachers. He just fits with the middle school personality."

Jackson has 19 years of experience teaching science and math at the middle school and high school level. He has taught in Flagstaff, Tucson, Show Low and Sells. It may have been fate that brought him to Williams.

"My mom taught here in 1962," he said. "It was her first teaching job. I said, 'I'm going to go work in Williams.' And she said, 'Oh my gosh, that's fantastic!'"

So far, Jackson is enjoying working in Williams.

"I'm very excited," he said. "The staff is beyond nice. The kids are amazing. I really enjoy working in small towns. It's a different kind of community and it's more hands on."

More information about math intervention is available at (928) 635-4428.

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