Meet Shelbi Babcock, Math Content Specialist on the Ulster BOCES Instructional Services team. Shelbi works with teachers and administrators, bringing them the latest data and strategies for math instruction, and helping them set and meet goals for student learning. She does the “heavy lifting” of sorting through the latest pedagogical research so that teachers can stay current and deliver the best possible lessons for their students.
“Things are always changing in the educational landscape,” she says. “Today’s educators face the challenge of trying to teach an enormous amount of content in a fairly short time while making it meaningful. In addition, today’s students are facing some very difficult social and emotional challenges.”
Shelbi has always known she wanted to teach. Even as a teenager, she loved to help coach and tutor other students. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and 7-12 Mathematics Teaching Certification from Mount Saint Mary College, and went on to obtain a master’s degree in Curriculum Development and Instructional Technology from SUNY Albany. She came to Ulster BOCES in 2017 as a math instructor at the Phoenix Academy, then also worked at the Center for Innovative Learning in Port Ewen and Camp Ramapo in Rhinebeck. Shelbi joined the Instructional Services team this past November, and enjoys her new role very much.
“My vision is to help find ways to make education work for ALL students and share that information with others,” she says. “Successful education, in my opinion, can only happen when the whole student is taken into account when curricular and instructional decisions are made. Within each content area, a student's academic, social-emotional, and physical status and abilities must be considered when planning and delivering an educational experience. When all of these things are considered and planned for, successful education can be accessed by all learners in a classroom.”
Shelbi looks forward to leading more professional development workshops where she can share her expertise. “I hope to leave the learners in my session with something concrete that they can try in their classrooms as soon as the next day,” she says. “I also hope for them to leave the session with questions and the drive to look deeper into the topic.”
In addition to developing an excellent math curriculum, Shelbi enjoys crafting and building things with her husband, Brandon Hamilton, who also works at Ulster BOCES (as a maintenance mechanic).