As AMTE continues to grow in its membership and influence in mathematics teacher education nationally, affiliates of AMTE are seeking to do the same in the states they represent. The AMTE Affiliates Connection Committee charge is to engage and support affiliates. This includes 1) communicating with current state and regional AMTE affiliate organizations, sharing information and seeking input on initiatives of mutual benefit; 2) providing information and assistance to AMTE members interested in establishing new regional or state AMTE affiliates; 3) facilitating member list exchange for mutual recruitment purposes; and 4) advising the AMTE Board on strategies to maximize the potential of affiliate connections, both between AMTE and its affiliate organizations and between AMTE and organizations to which it is or may want to affiliate. This excerpt will focus on number one above as to communicate what was presented at the 2016 annual conference in order to benefit the entire AMTE affiliate community (Eddy, Krupa, Salinas, Lee, Grady, Miller, & Burton 2016).
The representation of affiliates included those of various sizes, new, continuing, and interested in becoming an affiliate. Affiliate leaders who attended the session at the annual meeting first identified 2-3 strengths and needs based on a list generated from recent survey data. The list included:
- Active Membership
- Advocating political/legislative issues
- Communications systems
- Great Newsletters
- Hard working leadership
- Professional development for math teacher educators
- Reach out to Community College Faculty
- Reach out to district math coordinators
- Recruitment Support to in-service teachers Symposiums/Conferences
- Website presence
- Well-attended meetings
Based on greatest need and interest breakout sessions occurred around advocacy and membership. The advocacy discussion focused on how AMTE affiliates and their members can have their voices heard at the state level, where decision-making is taking place that impacts their programs and the teachers they support. As a result from the discussion those participating generated the following list of ideas:
- Create position statements
- Create a clear concise message
- Send out a survey (Qualtrics) to have the beliefs of the membership
- Build relationship with a few people who are influential at the state level
- Combine efforts with state organizations
- Petitions out at state conferences/meetings
- Letters to the editor
- Identifying members who have expertise on the issue
- Business Chamber of Commerce Lobbyist as a consultant
- Create a task force
- Template/form letter for individual letters.
The second breakout session focused on membership and benefits. Some of the ideas for benefiting current members and bringing in new members included:
- President monthly e-mail
- Provide opportunities for members to have a role in the organization
- Create task force
- Web presence
Within this discussion, have a conference for the affiliate generated the most conversation and considering ways of conducting such an event. Tagging on to an already existing yearly conference in the state was one idea for generating visibility as well as accessibility for members and bringing in new members. Some states have been able to conduct conferences on their own, having state and local sponsors, and/or partnering with other state organizations.
Those affiliate leaders who participated in the presentation (Eddy, et al. 2016) communicated goals as a result of the information shared. Some of these included identifying groups or individuals to become members and be involved in the affiliate; establish advocacy efforts to influence policy such as licensure exams; and determine non-profit status of the affiliate. If you would like to become involved with your state/regional affiliate or want to establish an affiliate, more information can be found at http://amte.net/affiliates.
Megan Burton, Colleen Eddy, Maureen Grady, Erin Krupa, Jean Lee, Travis Miller, Alejandra Salinas
Affiliate Connections Committee
Eddy, C.M., Krupa, E., Salinas, A., Lee, J., Grady, M., Miller, T., & Burton, M. (2016). Connecting and becoming stronger advocates through affiliates. Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators Annual Conference. Irvine, CA.