Impact Stories » Nick Burgmeier: Math Instructional Coach

Nick Burgmeier: Math Instructional Coach

Near the end of two years teaching seventh-grade math in another school district through Teach For America, Nick visited the Kauffman School during a Friday community meeting. At that weekly event, scholars come together by grade level to reflect on the week, give each outher shout outs, build character skills and talk about what’s going on in the world.

Nick was captivated.

“The student culture drew me in,” he says. “It was the first time I saw students take charge of their own education that way.”

He observed a math classroom during his second visit to the school and was amazed at the teacher’s enthusiasm and level of skill and the love she showed her students. Joining the Kauffman School, he believed, would offer him development opportunities that would make him a better teacher.

Working alongside teacher Robyn Blakemore, Nick taught eighth-grade math at the Kauffman School for two years, leading students to astounding results. In 2015, 81 percent of eighth graders scored proficient on the Missouri MAP assessment, as compared to 8 percent of eighth graders in Kansas City Public Schools.

Nick then moved to the role of instructional coach for the school’s sixth-through eighth-grade teachers. He draws on his experience in the classroom and the coaching he received to provide support and training for other teachers, helping them prioritize and work on the areas that will most quickly develop their skills. Every improvement drives toward what is most important – student success.

“The Kauffman School is a safe community where students shape and define who they are as people,” Nick says. “I want every student who comes through our doors to reach the end of the high school experience and realize the high standards we held them to were worth it because they get to choose the college of their dreams.”
“Here, there’s a building full of people who see and are doing what’s necessary to affect lasting change for students. I’ve never met a group of adults more driven for students and student success.” -Nick Burgmeier