Having the opportunity to serve as Personal Learning Director for the NCSM Board from 2018-20 is both an honor and a challenge. Just as the classroom teacher is faced with finding equitable access for all of his/her students, so the leadership team at NCSM is faced with finding equitable access for all of its members. As technology increases our ability to communicate, we must creatively seek methods of access for all of our members in all corners of the globe.
In these times where states and locals are feeling educational cuts and funding for conferences is very limited, we must find alternative methods to collaborate and find our voice. It is only through this unity that we will be heard and our mission to improve mathematics instruction and understanding will be achieved.
As a member of NCSM for the past fifteen years, I have relied on its research, its resources, and most importantly its members to help me problem solve and move mathematics education forward in my county. The beauty of NCSM is that you don't have to problem solve alone. From its leadership resources, coaches corner, position papers, three acts, jump start, and amazing conferences with motivating headliners in the mathematics education world, you can feel connected and informed. We all have many of the same problems and are seeking solutions. Simply sitting in the sessions and talking to those around you is often a way that we can measure our own barometer as to what we are doing in our schools. We all want to do better. Listening and sharing can help us achieve that.
In 2013, I served as Secretary of the NCSM Board under then President, Valerie Mills. I have served on many committees, boards, panels, and administrative slates, however, I have never served on one as productive, disciplined, and outright amazing as that NCSM board. The amount of work that went into our initiatives and planning was monumental and so rewarding. I was proud of that work and it instilled in me an awareness that there was still much work to be done. I took a few years off from my work on the board, continued my work in urban American education, re-energized, and now I'm back. The paradigm of math education is starting to shift. Parents and students are starting to realize that there are ways to educate in mathematics that are better than the ways of old. The CCSSM and its practices have shown us that students are capable of a deeper understanding of mathematics and can communicate it and creatively problem solve bigger and better than ever. We must keep the momentum going and make sure that a good solid mathematics education is accessible for all.