When Natasha Crawford was a graduate student at Clark Atlanta University, she learned that one of her teachers was moonlighting; her primary job was not at the university but rather teaching in a local middle school.
Ms. Crawford, now an Upper School math teacher, recalled thinking, "That would be cool, to still be in a classroom but also come in and teach upcoming teachers."
Some years later, Ms. Crawford has taken up that challenge herself. Last summer, she went to South Africa and Swaziland to work with teachers in those countries, and this week, she is in Japan, providing professional development to educators from eight countries, ranging from China to Vietnam to India, as the featured speaker at the North East Asia Mathematics Competition
The competition is an annual international meet for students age 15 and younger, but it also provides a forum for math teachers to network and share ideas for learning. That's where Ms. Crawford comes in. She'll serve in Tokyo, as she did in Africa, both as an instructor and a facilitator.
"The gist of my talk is going to focus on tech stuff that they use in their classrooms," Ms. Crawford said, "but really I'm giving them an opportunity to share with one another."
The teachers are coming from thousands of miles away, but what unites them is that they all teach the same subject at independent, internationally focused schools. Building on those commonalities to create deeper connections that will last after the conference ends is what Ms. Crawford enjoys from these sessions, she said.
Another educator recommended her to the organizer of the NEAMC, and the invitation was finalized in short order. In addition to the professional development sessions, Ms. Crawford will also deliver the competition's keynote address on Friday, March 3.
For more about Ms. Crawford, including a discussion of her work in southern Africa as the 2016 recipient of the John S. Wood "Great Cities" Teaching Fellowship, be sure to check out the upcoming issue of NCS Magazine.