(Michigan) Middle School Grade 8 Mathematics Teacher (1999–present)
(mathematics), Calvin University, Michigan; MA (mathematics education), Western
Michigan University (WMU)
WMU Instructor (1999–2006); Grade 8 Mathematics Teacher, Kalamazoo
(Michigan) Public Schools (1995–1999)
Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM); National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics;
TODOS: Mathematics for All; Benjamin Banneker Association; Women and
Mathematics Education; Association of Mathematics Teachers Educators; Michigan
Council of Teachers of Mathematics (MCTM); ASCD
NCTM Activities: Back-to-School Task Force Chair (2020);
St. Louis Annual Meeting Program Committee; Board of Directors (2016–2019); Budget and Finance
Committee (2016–2018), Chair (2018–2019); Executive Committee (2017–2019); Publications
Other Activities: MCTM
Conference on Math for Students with Disabilities Co-Chair (2015–present); MCTM
Virtual Book Club Founder and Coordinator (2010–2019); MCTM Annual Conference
Chair (2010–2016); MCTM Board (2009–2012)
Productive Math Struggle (Corwin 2020)
Alumni Achievement Award (2019); MCTM Service Award (2013); MCTM Regional
Director Award (2007)
many things in mathematics education might be debated, one thing cannot: the
need to continuously focus on providing a high-quality mathematics education
for every student. For far too long, mathematics education has perpetuated
often substantial differences in opportunities and quality for different groups
of students, including those of color, with disabilities, and in poverty. NCTM
must continue to address these disparities and help lead change.
NCTM’s Catalyzing Change series raises the issue of
inequity, challenging us to think deeply and converse with a variety of
stakeholders about raising the quality of mathematics education for all students.
Much of this work focuses on the systems level—an entire school, district, or
state. Although this is vitally important, NCTM must also focus on the
classroom level. Mathematics teachers must be part of both the decision-making
related to access and equity and the consideration of classroom practices that truly
support such opportunities. In many cases, teachers will need ongoing
professional development and support as they implement such classroom practices.
Classroom teachers need to be thinking deeply about the
effects of their practice on each and every student. NCTM can and must provide guidance and
leadership in this area. Bartell, Wager, and colleagues do a wonderful job of
laying out nine equitable mathematics teaching practices in their January 2017 Journal
for Research in Mathematics Education research commentary. Their work could
be expanded and illustrated with classroom examples to provide NCTM’s next
major publication to push the mathematics education field forward. A series of
virtual and in-person professional development sessions and President’s
Messages coupled with webinars could be offered to further expand the
Mathematics educators must see the value of NCTM membership.
Social media cannot offer the same advocacy on Capitol Hill and at the state
level on behalf of its members and the students they teach. NCTM must increase its tweets about advocacy,
utilize myNCTM to raise awareness of the benefits to teachers that NCTM’s
support has secured, and better share and explain what we are advocating for.
Creating grade-level groups within myNCTM could increase
member value and a sense of community as teachers from across the world share
ideas with their peers. PK–12 classroom teachers who are current and past committee
or Board members could be encouraged to participate to help increase the
visibility of teachers’ roles as NCTM leaders.
Finally, let’s build on the success of recent virtual
offerings and make a virtual conference a regular part of our professional
learning events, eliminating travel costs and time away from classrooms.