Melissa Dean

As a student, I found mathematics frustrating, daunting and stressful. When I suddenly found myself standing in front of a group of grade eight students, tasked with teaching them mathematics, I realized there needed to be a different way. And so began my journey into mathematics education, learning, and leading. I am passionate about building classrooms where all mathematics students truly believe that they can and will be successful; that they will find a place and space within that classroom. Building learning environments where students are fully engaged in instruction, assessment, growth, and discovery, at all grades is my vision for mathematics within the Hanover School Division. Mathematics is a beautiful and creative subject, full of opportunities for inquiry, critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, and excitement!

When I’m not teaching grade seven at Clearspring Middle School, I’m looking for ways to build partnerships and learning collaborations within our grade seven to twelve classrooms. While I work mainly with Landmark Collegiate, Niverville Highschool and Green Valley, I am here to support all our grade seven to twelve teachers and learners of mathematics within the division.

When I’m not talking mathematics, you can find me drinking coffee, running or talking about and imagining new and effective assessment and evaluation tools and strategies (or maybe all three at one time!). While I’m passionate about mathematics, I also have a wide range of experiences in science, language arts, instrumental music and special education.

As a snapshot, my areas of expertise and experience are:

Assessment and Evaluation (Grades 5 to 12)

Mathematics Education (Grades 1 to 12)

Biology, Chemistry and General Science

Special Education and working with students with diverse needs

Instrumental Music


Collaborative Assessment in SY Mathematics

Last week I had the opportunity to visit Melissa Guenther’s Grade 10 Math Class at NHS the day before an assessment day. When I walked in, all of the students were engaged in purposeful review on whiteboards set up the room, working collaboratively on a set of problems displayed at the front. It was noisy…

Mar 6, 2020 · Melissa Dean

Student Voice and Choice in Senior Years Mathematics

A classroom community is a balancing act between teacher voice and student voice. As educators, we each have our own strongly held beliefs about how our classrooms should run, what instructional tools we want to use, what our educational philosophy is. Sometimes, though, the instructional strategies we want to use in our classroom communities are…

Jan 12, 2020 · Melissa Dean

Building Fact Fluency in the Middle and Senior Years Classrooms

One of the most common questions I have encountered in my work as a mathematics education leader, is about how we¬† help our students who have arrived in the middle and senior years while still struggling with their math facts. The burden this puts on students and teachers in mathematics classrooms, as well as in…

Nov 13, 2019 · Melissa Dean

Problem Solvers and Question Askers

As Teachers, we are primed to be the asker of questions (and many times, also the answerer of those questions!). It is easy to be the guardian of the knowledge, and our students are used to this dynamic. However, as we continue to consider and encourage deep learning, as well as true understanding, our students…

Nov 3, 2019 · Melissa Dean