From my first NCSM conference as a new high school mathematics coach, I knew I had found a professional group of educators who shared my passion and vision for mathematics teaching and learning. Not content to maintain the status quo, NCSM continues to challenge coaches, teachers, and leaders to keep learning as they work to ensure the learning of every student. What new research should be examined and implemented? How can coaches more effectively work with colleagues to grow teacher and student learning? How can emphasis be placed on equity in mathematics education? How should selection of tasks be considered and implemented to grow student learning? Actively working to answer questions such as these in practical ways makes NCSM a leader in mathematics education and a valuable resource.
I am honored to serve as secretary of NCSM and continue working collaboratively with other forward-thinking educators to advance student learning of mathematics. All students should exit high school having options for their future because of their mathematics understanding. Through their study of mathematics, student learn how to reason, justify conclusions, and quantify their world – ideally through a framework of curiosity and wonder that leads to life-long learning. NCSM promotes these practices through a lens of collaboration which strengthens learning amongst students as well as teachers and strengthens NCSM as an organization as well. Together we learn more and can continue improving mathematics education. I am excited to be a part of that journey.
As a new high school mathematics instructional coach in 2006, I was introduced to NCSM from colleagues around Oregon who were also in similar roles and with whom I worked on various state-level projects. At the time, instructional coaching was not well defined and I appreciated the insights into the role on the NCSM website as well as the coaching strand at conferences. From the resources and sessions NCSM provided, I grew practices related to teaching, assessing, and learning that in turn could be shared with the teachers in my school and district. Having been a member of NCTM and served on their editorial panel, I appreciated the similar visioning between the two organizations and NCSM’s strong supports for mathematics teacher-leaders.
Over time I became a K-12 district mathematics coach and now have opportunities to work with other schools as well. I continue to grow as an educator from the materials and conferences NCSM provides and from the network of people I have had the privilege to meet through the organization. In fact, the people I have met and now call friends and colleagues, have challenged me to continue to grow in my practices and even to explore leadership in the organization itself.
Since my introduction, I have grown to more deeply appreciate the welcoming spirit of NCSM and my shared belief with their mission that all students can learn mathematics. Conferences have become opportunities to learn from and grow friendships and a place to gather new ideas for working with educators in a way that is inspiring for the work ahead. I am honored to be a member of an organization that continues to strive toward working with mathematics teachers and leaders to help all students learn mathematics at high levels.