For 33 years NCTM’s Mathematics Education Trust (MET) has provided opportunities for teachers to continue their professional development through the generous contributions of Council members, Affiliates, and other individuals and corporations. Thanks to the generosity of all MET contributors, donations of $25, $50, and $100 add up to sizeable grants for mathematics teachers. Occasionally, MET receives even larger donations. One such donation came from NCTM member Dale Seymour, who established a MET scholarship fund for classroom teachers of prekindergarten through grade 12 to pursue course work in mathematics to strengthen their knowledge of content in the field.
A Leader in Mathematics
Over the years, Seymour has been a classroom teacher, a creative speaker, a presenter, and a writer. He began his career as a teacher of middle and high school students. He was actively involved in the California State Mathematics Framework Addendum Committee, California State Model Curriculum Standards Committee, and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Advisory Board for Mathematics Curriculum Standards. After 14 years of teaching grades 7–12 in Nebraska, Colorado, Hawaii, and California, he founded Creative Publications. In 1993, Seymour was awarded the Glen Gilbert National Leadership Award from the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics. The award recognized his leadership and significant contributions in the field of mathematics.
Throughout his career, Seymour has given more than 1,000 presentations at teacher conferences. He has authored or coauthored more than 115 mathematics education publications and designed more than 200 educational products. In 1989 he founded Dale Seymour Publications and served as president until 1991. Although currently retired, Seymour continues to show genuine concern for his fellow mathematics educators across the country. The establishment of the MET scholarship fund is just one example of that caring.
Creating the Fund
Seymour attended several National Science Institutes in the 1960s. “These institutes were inspiring to me and were instrumental in my learning to love mathematics,” he said. To help other teachers have similar experiences, Dale and his wife, Margo, established a MET endowment in 1991 to provide scholarships for classroom teachers. “It was my intention for the scholarships to enable teachers to improve their mathematical knowledge,” he said.
The Dale Seymour Fund supports the Mathematics Course Work (Pre-K–Grade 5) and Graduate Course Work Scholarships (Grades 6–8 and Grades 9–12). Since the fund’s creation, 47 full-time classroom teachers have received scholarships of up to $2,000 to pursue courses to improve their mathematics content knowledge.
This Year's Grant Recipients
The 2009-2010 recipients of the scholarships are Kimberly D. Loner of Timberwood Park Elementary School in San Antonio, Texas; Rhodesia A. DeShazer, Portable Practical Educational Preparation TEC High School in Avondale, Arizona; and Katrina G. Konnick, Central Bucks High School East in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.
In her grant proposal, Loner wrote, “With this grant, I want to take my students beyond memorizing math content knowledge! I will take courses that will improve my teaching of problem solving, inquiry methods, and the use of technology in a mathematics classroom. The largest challenge that I have in my classroom is teaching students to critically think and problem-solve, and these courses will help me grow stronger in that area.”
DeShazer described her professional objective as being able “to take my students on a mathematical journey that will stay with them for life. To convey this message to the students effectively in a manner where understanding is achieved will be the greatest challenge placed before me and the greatest victory that I can achieve. Having the “why” behind mathematics available to my students will build my confidence to successfully teach them. With the funds to increase my knowledge base as a mathematics teacher, I will be able to fulfill my dream of being the best teacher I can be. As a teacher, the ability to teach concepts which hold value for both the students and me will be the most rewarding experience I can receive.”
Konnick is using her scholarship toward completing her master’s degree in mathematics and continuing work toward a doctorate in mathematics. In her proposal, Konnick wrote, “With a master’s in mathematics, I would possess the necessary skills and knowledge to teach undergraduate mathematics courses such as calculus, statistics, and linear algebra. A doctorate in mathematics education would provide opportunities to teach and supervise student teachers and continue my work in the field of education. I would be able to pursue a career that satisfies both my desires as an educator and mathematician.”
|Seymour’s hobbies include creating geometric sculptures for his yard. This sculpture of five interlocking cubes is one of more than 25 he has created.