Sorrels puts math in real-world focus for students

Published 4:54 pm Thursday, February 13, 2020

This article is part of a series by The Vicksburg Post, in partnership with the Vicksburg-Warren County Chamber of Commerce, featuring each of the nominees for teacher of the year honors.


Every teacher — and parent for that matter — has heard their students complain, saying they will never use this lesson in the real world. That is likely more often heard in algebra and geometry classes.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am

But for River City Early College algebra and geometry teacher Kayla Sorrels, she has a way around that complaint.

“As an algebra teacher, we really focus on real-world practice problems and scenarios. We talk a lot about examples of linear and quadratic equations that are seen in our daily lives,” Sorrels said. “This year, we will be launching rockets to connect with quadratic equations. As a geometry teacher, we connect our skills to building projects. Last year, my class built birdhouses by doing all of the measurements, cutting the wood and finishings.”

Sorrels is one of the educators nominated for the Vicksburg-Warren County Chamber of Commerce’s Teacher of the Year awards.

The chamber will select and announce one elementary and one secondary teacher of the year at the chamber luncheon on Feb. 25. The winner of each award will receive $1,000 from Ameristar Casino and the runner-up for each award will receive $500 from Mutual Credit Union.

In her fifth year of teaching, Sorrels received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Mississippi State University.

Before joining the team at River City Early College, she was a third-grade math and science teacher at Bowmar Elementary School for three years.

“My lessons are based on an ‘I do, We do, You do’ approach,” Sorrels writes in her Teacher of the Year application. “A typical math lesson would begin with a whole group lesson followed by practice problems we would complete together, and then students would complete independent practice problems.”

About Tim Reeves

Tim Reeves, and his wife Stephanie, are the parents of three children, Sarah Cameron, Clayton and Fin, who all attend school in the Vicksburg Warren School District. The family are members of First Baptist Church Vicksburg. Tim is involved in a number of civic and volunteer organizations including the United Way of West Central Mississippi and serves on the City of Vicksburg's Riverfront Redevelopment Committee.

email author More by Tim