STEM is often held up as an exclusive club, open only to those who happen to fall into a very narrow definition of “smartness.” As a teacher, it is my role to expand the definition of “smartness,” and create a classroom where students’ many ways of knowing, being, and doing will authentically contribute to our collective STEM learning.”

Sangeetha’s Story

Growing up in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Geetha Lakshminarayanan never considered herself a “math person” until she joined her high school’s Academic Games team. There she learned to appreciate the creativity and fluidity of mathematics, something she never saw in her regular classes. Geetha maintained this interest in college, graduating from the University of Michigan with a BA in American culture and a minor in mathematics.

After receiving her MA in education from Stanford University, Geetha taught high school mathematics in high-need Bay Area public schools. She then became a math specialist for Oakland Unified School District in Oakland, California, where she coached teachers and coordinated development of a district-wide, teacher-created K–12 math curriculum.

A National Board Certified Teacher, Geetha currently works as a teacher educator at Stanford University Graduate School of Education, working with pre-service teachers in the Stanford Teacher Education Program. She also supports in-service teachers across the United States and internationally as a coach and professional development associate for the Center to Support Excellence in Teaching. As a specialist for Phase 1 of the Knowles Teaching Fellowship, she shares her knowledge of and experience with Complex Instruction with beginning math and science teachers. 

Outside of education, Geetha enjoys cooking, hiking, reading, and international travel.