Melissa Backman helping her students with a math problem

Melissa Backman

Westwood Intermediate and Middle School  

Math Teacher                   

What year did you start working in Spring Lake Park Schools? 

Why did you choose to join Spring Lake Park Schools?
I chose to join Spring Lake Park Schools because of the supportive administration, friendly staff and diverse student population. As a veteran teacher who has worked in different states and in various teaching environments, I have discovered that these three components are essential in a productive work place, but one always seems to be lacking. Because SLP obtains each of these components, it provides a professional experience that is unlike any other. 

What's the best part of your day, as an employee of Spring Lake Park Schools?
The best part of my professional day is helping kids change their mindsets about mathematics. I love that moments when a kid "buys in" to their ability and their intelligence. Their confidence grows and they instantly gain the courage to ask why until they understand. Watching kids learn from their mistakes and continue to persevere is the most rewarding part of teaching kids math. 

What do you do when you're not at work?
When I'm not at work, my family is first! My husband and I have three children; Lily (10), Macie (7) and Jax (3). I spend a lot of my time reliving my childhood through their curiosity and innocence. They remind me to slow down and to enjoy the little things in life. I love creating art, baking, taking pictures and the great outdoors. I make pickled green beans every summer and love watching baseball. I am also a true believer in trying everything at least once. Spontaneity is the spice of life! 

How do you personalize learning for students?
I personalize learning for my students by celebrating the mistakes they make. No matter what their learning style is, if they feel safe being wrong, they will always try their best. I find that being able to adjust to individual needs is easiest if my students trust me, so I make that a priority. 

What makes you #SLPPantherProud?
What makes me #SLPPantherProud is the wonderful staff at Westwood. There is a positive culture that exists within its walls and it's very obvious that w are all committed to helping our students reach their maximum potential. 

Click here to read about other staff members and why they're #SLPPantherProud.