Once In MESA, Always In MESA

Teacher Spotlight: Ms. Batts

By: Nancy Soto


Ms. Batts is a MESA Teacher and was a MESA Student during high school, in West Seattle, where she had the opportunity to build cars and focus on earthquake activities. Since then, MESA has shifted towards building prosthetic arms to solve real world problems that lead to careers that can help people.

Ms. Batts always wanted to be a teacher. She attended Seattle University and even though she loved math, it was difficult. Everyone comes across a point in math that can be challenging to solve. “I cried”, Ms. Batts mentioned, “I had to retake a math course in college”.  Math is a subject that even math teachers have a struggle with. Seeking help and not giving up is important when pursuing a STEM career.

Ms. Batts was inspired to continue being involved with MESA because of her mentor Ms. De la Fuente. While student teaching in Ms. De la Fuente’s classroom, Ms. Batts would skip her prep period to see what the students were building. She wanted to pass down this experience to students who might not have a chance to further explore STEM related activities or careers.

During this summer, Ms. Batts was excited to provide hands-on and complex problems that led her students to gather together to try to solve problems. The “Bucket Problem” was one of Ms. Batts’ favorite activity, where students as a team work to figure out how much liquid there is using two different size buckets.

Ms. Batts is excited to see her Summer Math Scholars again as the school year begins, in hope of continuing to have a connection and challenging the students to succeed. MESA has positively impacted the students. “I have seen students get nervous when solving math problems but end up doing well on the exams. MESA encourages students to dig deeper in solving problems by taking risks and putting all their effort”, she says.

Her students also respond well to her, Summer Scholar Tukano wrote a letter to Ms. Batts, “I appreciate you taking the time to help us and also take care of us, something I enjoyed was when we did the “I have, Who Has Game”, it helped us learn more.”  Ms. Batts is a fantastic teacher that takes pride in her profession.

For teachers interested in participating in MESA, Ms. Batts recommends: “To do it! MESA increases the confidence in the students”, she says.  If you are interested in becoming a Summer Math MESA teacher, please contact Martha at mgfp@uw.edu.

Or if you are interested in helping out in Ms. Batts’ class, Tutors should definitely get involved! Please contact Joffrey at joffreyh@uw.edu.