Hello and welcome! I am so glad you are here to learn alongside me. My name is Sarah Porcenaluk, and I currently reside in Galway, Ireland, where I am working toward a PhD in Education. My research centres around developing educative curriculum materials as methods of continued professional development in primary mathematics. My project aims to collaboratively develop a resource for primary teachers to integrate higher-level questioning practices into mathematics while also exposing them to the rationale behind doing so. I am currently projected to finish in December 2024. In 2019, I received an MEd from the University of Central Florida in K-8 Mathematics and Science Education, in which I researched teachers’ perceptions of instructional coaching through the lens of self-determination theory.

Before moving to Ireland, I was an instructional math coach at the elementary level in Orlando, Florida. I developed and facilitated professional development for teachers on best practices in mathematics while also providing individual coaching to teachers to grow in areas most impactful for their practice. My research places importance on collaborating with teachers as they play a vital role in designing and facilitating effective professional development. As a maths coach, I also aided teachers in developing lessons aligned with state curriculums, integrated research-based teaching pedagogies, and made mathematics enjoyable for the students and teachers. I was also an elementary teacher in Virginia and a project manager in Washington, D.C., before that.

Through my research and work in classrooms, I aim to positively influence students’ and teachers’ experience with mathematics education. I hope to encourage teachers to provide real-world learning through engaging and relatable lessons that ultimately increase students’ productive disposition towards mathematics. I believe that mathematics helps us learn skills that transcend mathematics, such as problem-solving, analysing, and innovating, which will help solve 21st-century challenges.

In my spare time, I love to travel with my husband, Jared. Since living in the west of Ireland, I’ve also become particularly fond of enjoying a cup of tea while reading a book.