I am honored and excited to serve on the NCSM board as the Inspiration! Associate Editor. I attended my first NCSM Conference in 2016. I loved everything about it and learned so much. As a result of the learning I was gaining from conferences, I became involved serving NCSM and our members in 2018 as a Southern Region 2 Team Leader. I’m looking forward to serving on the board in this capacity to continue the tradition of providing quality information in mathematics to our members.
In my current position as a multi-site math instructional facilitator and as a professional development leader for the CGI Math Teacher Learning Center, I’m able to use my skills and training to promote equitable teaching practices in mathematics. With that said, I’m dedicated to promoting ambitious teaching in mathematics in my professional conversations and everywhere I go as an educator and I bring that dedication with me as an associate newsletter editor.
I began my teaching career 17 years ago as a 4th grade teacher. I did that for 3 years and loved every minute of it. After my first year though, I realized that my low math identity would be a problem in making sure my students were successful. I decided to make math the focus of my professional growth plans. Because of great colleagues, I became involved in some incredible professional development that changed my mathematical life! As a result of this training I began to see the beauty in elementary mathematics. Because I was growing so much, I wanted to impact more than just the students in my class so I became a math coach. During that time, I learned so much from the teachers I worked with as well as other similar professional development. Wanting to put into practice what I was learning, I decided to go back to the classroom as a 5th grade teacher. Continuing my increasing love of math, I sought out more great math PD. After another three years I decided to take another position as a math coach. Using the knowledge I’d gained, I was able to positively impact growth and change in the teachers I worked with in turn seeing growth and change in the students we worked with. I was in this position for four years when an opportunity to become a multi-site math instructional facilitator arose. I’ve been currently in this position for 4 years where I provide support to teachers by planning, co-teaching, modeling lessons and engaging them in quality professional development.
My story includes a journey that includes a young African American female who had a low math identity. That identity didn’t begin to change until that first engaging professional development that helped me see the beauty in mathematics. My determination to grow in this area led to several great math professional development opportunities in which I was able to engage. Some of these were through partnerships with two of our local universities, led by professors as well as district and state math leaders. In addition to these, I also had an additional five years of intensive content and pedagogy training through my work to become a CGI teacher trainer. What made the professional development so engaging and impactful was that each of them required commitments of three years, they involved engaging tasks, follow ups and classroom embedded work. Through these times, I gained an understanding and appreciation of the importance of professional development that promoted equity by way of high quality mathematical tasks from high quality and ambitious teaching.
Because of my experiences as a young learner of math and then a first year teacher who wasn’t as prepared to engage students in meaningful and equitable math, I understand the importance of promoting the type of math that I needed and wished I had as a student. My work in math will always involve promotion of and learning more and more about what it means to have all students engaged in mathematics that promotes equity for all students.