Mariah D. Alexander



My Teaching Philosophy

As an experienced educator focusing on teaching mathematics, my philosophy centers around believing every child can learn math with the right tools and support. I strive to create an environment where students feel brave and courageous, especially when facing their fear of math. I often remind them of the Nelson Mandela quote: "I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear." I encourage students to step outside their comfort zones, take risks, abandon their fear of failure, and embrace challenges in their mathematical learning. By providing a nurturing and inclusive environment, differentiating instruction, and connecting math to real-world applications, I empower students to see the relevance and practicality of mathematics. My goal is to instill not only mathematical proficiency but also critical thinking skills, resilience, and a growth mindset that will support their success beyond the classroom.

About Me

Hello! I am Mariah D. Alexander, a Residential Education Instructor at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics. Education has always been my passion, particularly in the field of mathematics. I earned a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics with a minor in Computer Science from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Currently, I am pursuing a Master of Science in Mathematics with a concentration in Computational and Engineering Mathematics from North Carolina Central University.

With six years of experience working in high schools, I have had the honor of engaging with students from diverse backgrounds and socioeconomic statuses. During my four-year tenure as a high school mathematics teacher, I taught various subjects, primarily focusing on AP Calculus and Honors Precalculus. However, my expertise extends to nearly all high school math courses. Presently, I guide students through Financial Planning and College and Career Planning, equipping them with the knowledge and skills necessary for their future journeys.

Beyond my professional endeavors, I find solace and enjoyment in solving puzzles. Among them, the Rubik's Cube holds a special place in my heart. Recently, I took on the challenge of conquering the 4x4 cube, constantly striving to enhance my solving speed unassisted.

Drawing from my extensive expertise in mathematics education, unwavering commitment to student success, and my penchant for puzzles, my ultimate goal is to cultivate a genuine love for learning, empower students, and contribute positively to the realm of education.

This engaging project aims to empower students by cultivating an understanding of their spending habits and equipping them with essential financial skills for life after high school. Through a comprehensive series of examples, students will embark on a financial literacy journey, navigating the processes of buying a car, saving for retirement, saving for a house, paying a mortgage, and managing credit card debt. Throughout this journey, students will leverage Google Sheets, a powerful spreadsheet tool, to apply mathematical concepts and create practical financial models.

car loan

Students will dive into the realm of car purchasing, researching different models, evaluating financing options, and comparing costs. By utilizing Google Sheets, they will analyze and calculate expenses such as loan interest, insurance premiums, and maintenance costs. Additionally, students will learn to create formulas that dynamically adjust calculations based on changing variables, enabling them to make informed decisions about their car purchase.

Student Loan Icon

Students will learn about the importance of managing and repaying student loans. They will use Google Sheets to create repayment plans, calculate interest charges, and analyze the impact of different repayment strategies. By incorporating formulas and conditional formatting in Google Sheets, students will gain a comprehensive understanding of the financial responsibilities and options associated with student loan repayment.

Mortgage Icon

This segment will guide students through the process of paying a mortgage. They will leverage Google Sheets to calculate amortization schedules, analyze the impact of interest rates, and explore strategies for early mortgage payoff. Through formulas and data visualization techniques in Google Sheets, students will gain insights into the long-term financial commitments associated with homeownership.

Many math teachers have relied on teaching the same old quadratic formula song passed down from one generation of math teachers to the next. However, why settle for outdated tunes when you can unleash the creativity of your students and have them compose their own quadratic formula songs?

Here are a few of my favorites!

Let's Investigate!

One of the most rewarding aspects of being an educator is facilitating investigations that empower students to discover math independently. While providing step-by-step instructions indeed serves its purpose, witnessing the genuine curiosity and excitement that arise when students independently unravel mathematical concepts is an unparalleled experience. Allow me to share a few captivating examples of investigations I have conducted throughout my career:

Completing the Square with algebra tiles

In the quest to make mathematics come alive, an interactive and hands-on activity using algebra tiles provides an excellent opportunity for students to grasp the concept of completing the square. By using physical manipulatives known as algebra tiles, students can visualize and explore the process of transforming quadratic expressions into perfect squares.

Understanding the concept of volume and cross-sections can be challenging for students, but incorporating a hands-on activity using Playdoh can make it interactive and enjoyable. The Finding Volumes of Cross Sections with Playdoh activity allows students to explore and visualize how cross sections affect the volume of three-dimensional objects.

M&M Probability

Probability can often be an abstract concept for students, but incorporating a fun and delicious activity using M&M candies can bring this topic to life. The M&M Probability Activity allows students to explore the fundamental principles of probability through hands-on experimentation and data analysis with the promise of a sweet at the end.

Exploring special right triangles can be an exciting journey for students to deepen their understanding of geometry. This investigation offers a hands-on and interactive approach to discovering the unique properties and relationships within these special triangles.

Thank you!

I wanted to take a moment to express my sincere gratitude for considering my portfolio during the interview process. Your time, attention, and consideration mean a great deal to me, and I am genuinely thankful for the opportunity to share my work with you.

Creating this portfolio has been a labor of love, and I am thrilled to have the chance to present it to you all. I greatly appreciate your willingness to review my materials and explore the depth of my skills and experiences.

Thank you for your dedication to the interview process and for allowing me to showcase my qualifications. I am truly honored to be considered for this opportunity, and I look forward to discussing my portfolio with you in more detail.


Mariah D. Alexander


North Carolina Central University | 2024

Master of Science Mathematics

Concentration: Computational & Engineering Mathematics

The University of North Carolina at Charlotte | 2017

Bachelor of Science in Mathematics

Minor: Computer Science

(919) 830-4030

Core Strengths/Skills

Relationship Building, Research, Quantitative Aptitude, Problem Solver, Leadership, Communication, Teamwork, Public Speaking, MS O ce, Linux, Windows, SQL, Python, C++, Java, LaTex, Curriculum Development, Lesson Planning, Classroom Management, Data Analysis, Tutoring/Mentoring, Residential Life, Live Stream Production, Event Coordination, Community Outreach, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

Quickly learn and adapt to new technologies, software, and procedures to optimize efficiency and productivity.


Residential Education Instructor | North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics | Durham, NC | January 2022 - Present

  • Design and deliver engaging and effective curriculum for junior and senior Residential Education classes, utilizing various teaching and assessment techniques to meet student needs and promote learning.
  • Conduct regular reviews of the Residential Education curriculum, work with other instructors to ensure that course objectives and requirements are met, and identify improvement opportunities.
  • Serve as a critical resource for the school community on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) issues, organizing and leading campus-wide programs and training to promote a culture of respect and understanding. Additionally, collaborate closely with other faculty and staff members to provide adequate support and guidance to students and their families.

Community Coordinator | North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics | Durham, NC | August 2021 - Present

  • Supervise and manage residential halls, including office and administrative duties, on-call responsibilities, emergency response, and incident management, and ensure compliance with institutional policies and procedures.
  • Foster a supportive community and promote student wellness by planning and coordinating community and wellness programming, providing conflict mediation, offering student support, and facilitating student discipline when needed.
  • Serve as the primary point of contact for students' families, work collaboratively with academic advisors, counselors, and faculty members, and support student success by building solid relationships with students and their families through consistent communication and participation in campus events.

Live Stream Production Technician | Emmanuel AME Church | Durham, NC | March 2020 - January 2023

  • Coordinated live-streaming events for church services, meetings, and special events, ensuring seamless audio and visual quality for online audiences.
  • Maintained and operated audiovisual equipment, including cameras, microphones, switchers, and encoders, to ensure consistent performance and troubleshoot technical issues as needed

Math Teacher | Research Triangle High School | Durham, NC | August 2020 - June 2021

  • Adapted lesson plans and teaching methods to effectively deliver Math 3 and Precalculus instruction in a remote learning environment.
  • Utilized technology tools and platforms, such as Zoom, Google Classroom, and educational software, were used to create interactive and engaging virtual lessons.
  • Communicated regularly with students and their families to provide academic and emotional support, address concerns, and monitor progress.
  • Provided timely and detailed feedback on assignments and assessments and offered virtual office hours to assist students with questions and challenges.

Math Teacher | West Charlotte High School | Charlotte, NC | August 2017 - June 2020

  • Instructed a diverse population of high school students in a range of math courses, including Math 1, Math 2, Math 3, Advance Functions and Modeling, Honors Precalculus, and AP Calculus AB, in an urban Title 1 school.
  • Developed and implemented engaging lesson plans and various teaching methods to promote student understanding and success, resulting in 95% of students meeting their expected growth goals and demonstrating significant progress in math concepts.
  • Fostered a positive and inclusive classroom environment, promoting respect and active participation among students of diverse cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds.
  • Utilized technology and virtual platforms to deliver remote instruction during periods of virtual learning, adapting lesson plans to meet the needs of online learners and successfully engaging students in remote environments.