Nichole Bowman delights in the challenge of helping every student succeed in math. Bowman recently moved from Georgia Morse Middle School to T.F. Riggs High School in Pierre, South Dakota, where she is teaching many of the same students she had previously for eighth grade math. Bowman embraces a growth mindset, celebrating learning from mistakes and navigating learning curves to push every student to perform at higher levels. Students come to Bowman’s classroom with widely varying abilities, so she invests significant time and energy in differentiation, using personalized and small-group instruction to move students through the curriculum at their own pace. During the pandemic, Bowman welcomed algebra students to her online platform, answering questions via email and Zoom. Bowman’s strategies have delivered remarkable results: At her previous school, nearly half of Bowman’s eighth graders scored at an advanced level on the statewide assessment in math.
Bowman has worked with the South Dakota Department of Education (SDDOE) on reviewing and revising state content standards in math. She led regional best practices workshops for math educators. Bowman also represented her district in work with the department to explore policies to address the needs of the district’s increasingly diverse population. At Morse, Bowman led the eighth grade team, advised student council, helped the building leadership team develop strategies to deal with increased enrollment, mentored new teachers, and supported struggling students in a designated “Lifeguard” role.
Bowman’s support for students goes beyond classroom walls. She knows how important it is for students to see their teachers outside of school and makes a point of showing up at concerts, athletic events, or whatever students are involved in. Bowman encourages colleagues to consider every decision through one key lens—whether it will benefit students.
Bowman earned a bachelor’s in mathematics in 2007 from Northern State University.
Press release: Embracing a Growth Mindset Earns Pierre Math Teacher Nichole Bowman a $25,000 Milken Educator Award
"I learn every day what I need to fix for the next day, and every single year what I need to adjust for the next year."—..." (read more)