Chayna Adams’ students and colleagues learn more than academics in her care—she teaches them pride, respect and commitment. After years teaching math and heading the math department at Pearl River Central High School (PRCHS) in Carriere, Mississippi, Adams is now the school’s lead teacher, responsible for academic tier, schoolwide data and coaching support for instructional staff. She coaches new teachers in instructional practices, organizational skills, student interventions and data analysis. Adams also coordinates school-level professional development based on school and state data. To support the school’s goals for constant improvement of academic and behavior goals, Adams plans and organizes schoolwide incentives for students who meet weekly and monthly targets.
Adams’ data-driven classroom experience has served her well in her advancement into instructional leadership. As an algebra teacher, Adams used a wide variety of creative, hands-on strategies that support learning for students at all levels, including small group instruction, scaffolded partner activities, guided notes, whiteboard workouts, math “Jeopardy” and matching games. She tracked results on unit and district assessments on a “data wall” and adjusted her instruction to address learning gaps. Adams constantly reinforced positive behaviors in the classroom and communicated with parents about both concerns and successes. Her dedication to student outcomes delivered notable results: The algebra pass rate at PRCHS is 94%, and students in the bottom 25% consistently meet growth and proficiency targets on state assessments.
As math department chair, Adams led instructional rounds, conducted data analysis, coached new teachers and led the professional learning committee (PLC). During pandemic school closures, she used virtual meetings to check in with her department weekly and created video and interactive digital lessons for teachers to use with students. Consulting with the math coach at the Mississippi Department of Education, Adams led the redesign of all levels of the school’s algebra curriculum to align with state standards, increase rigor and make content accessible to remote-learning students. She has written test items for Algebra I for state assessments and presented at state and national conferences. Colleagues often observed in Adams’ classroom to learn from her skillful classroom management and instructional strategies.
Adams has taught seven graduating classes at PRCHS, and many former students attribute their successes to her, especially with their college and career choices. She taught the school’s math ACT prep class, using individualized instruction plans to ready students for the important college entrance exams. Adams connects with all students regardless of their math abilities and often attends sports, family events and other activities outside the classroom.
Adams earned a bachelor’s in mathematics from the University of Southern Mississippi in 2009 and a master’s in educational leadership from Arkansas State University in 2014.
"I teach because kids need us....We can be their people. Not every child has people at their home. We give them a safe space to grow..." (read more)
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