Tom Payeur

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I am a Mathematics Educator

For seven years I have been exploring the application of math best practices in the classroom. “Best practices” are research-based methods, skills, and habits of work that experts use on a regular basis to collaborate, communicate, and problem-solve. Math best practices include:

  • Finding regularity in patterns and structures;
  • Exploring multiple representations of a situation;
  • Making connections between prior and new learning as well as multiple representations;
  • Identifying mistakes and stuck points as learning opportunities; and
  • Persevering and seeking more through the questioning of assumptions and allowing for complexity.

These best practices are used in honor of producing universal, mathematical GENERALIZATIONS that students create, critique, debate, and ultimately own.

I am a Persistence Educator

At Winooski Middle/High School, I am a member of a team of educators who excel at teaching and assessing the explicit components of being Persistent, as defined by our community. These include:

  • Identifying and understanding one’s strengths and challenges;
  • Maintaining regular progress on long-term projects;
  • Collecting data on that progress and frequently reflecting on what the data shows; and
  • Presenting work in a way that shows one cares.

Persistence is one of six graduation expectations (GXs) at Winooski Middle/High School. The other five are Communication, Critical Thinking, Creativity, Cultural Awareness, and Wellbeing. Each GX culminates in a complex assessment (a big project) that all students must accomplish to show readiness to graduate.

I am the 2019 VT Teacher of the Year

As the 2019 VT Teacher of the Year, I travel around the state of Vermont and the country as a whole sharing my message of teaching 21st Century Skills to prepare our future generations to address and overcome the challenges of global climate change. I support educators and policy makers in their struggles to understand how we can shift education outcomes from outdated industrial standards of algorithms and memorization to clearly defined skills of adaptation and evolution. I encourage local communities to define success in terms that respect their unique needs through an assets-based approach to change (in other words, find what already works well and build on that!). Ultimately, I strive to be a catalyst for small changes in classroom practices that will result in universal changes in the way the next generation approaches global climate change.

I am a Vermonter

I live with my wife and two cats in a house tucked in a hollow along the Huntington River, nestled in the Green Mountains. I hiked the Long Trail (~280 miles) in 2016. I brew my own beer and hard cider. I am a licensed trapper. I received my BA in Economics, BA in Mathematics, and MAT in Curriculum and Instruction from UVM.



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