News from the Southern 2 Region
Paul Gray, Southern 2 Regional Director
Spring 2019

Momma always said there’s one more freeze before Easter. Since Easter is late this year, that makes me question the groundhog’s prediction of an early spring. So far, it seems that Momma was right.

My two favorite things about spring are the wildflowers that sprout just about everywhere in our region and the NCSM Annual Meeting! Wildflowers are nature’s way of reminding us that rebirth is a part of the natural cycle. After a long winter, the air is warming and dampening and nature’s beauty abounds. Everything is green, lush, and growing.

The NCSM Annual Meeting is one of the best ways I know to get our professional practice back to green, lush, and growing. I’ve gotten some of my best ideas about leading mathematics programs and working with teachers from my colleagues at NCSM. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Sometimes it’s a new coaching technique that I can use with teachers who are placed in my care.
  • I’ve picked up some great ways to use problems like 3-Act Tasks by attending sessions at NCSM.
  • Nothing beats the feeling of sitting in the Amen row of Cathy Seeley’s session and thinking about new ways you can advocate for your teachers and students.

If you can’t join us in San Diego this year, consider a Leadership Academy or Fall Seminar. These are short bursts of learning that you can take with you the whole year. Bring a team of colleagues from your school district, university, or organization so that you can support one another when you bring the learning back home.

We’ve got some great Leadership Resources available for you to use with your teachers.

  • Use one of the Great Tasks in the classroom. Teachers can collect student work samples and bring them back to a professional learning community meeting where they can analyze the work together, reflect on their findings, and improve future lessons.
  • Facilitate a book study! You can use one of the books from our new Essential Actions series as the focus of a book study on your team. You can do a face-to-face book study or you can use Twitter to organize a Twitter chat.

Finally, I would like to thank all y’all for the privilege of serving as your Southern 2 Regional Director for the last three years. I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know math leaders and see the excellent work that is going on throughout our seven states. I’m really excited to be able to introduce y’all to Katey Arrington, who will be your new Regional Director beginning in April. Dr. Arrington is a Manager of K-12 Services at the Charles A. Dana Center at the University of Texas at Austin. I’ve had the privilege of working with her on several statewide projects here in Texas and I can tell you firsthand that she is a rock star. Come join us at the Regional Caucus in San Diego so you can meet her!