As the spring semester ends, and the summer months begin, we all make great plans for much-needed relaxation and sought-after productivity on research, professional development or teaching plans. Since the 2017 Annual Conference, the AMTE Board of Directors and the Vice-Presidents’ Council have both been very busy, as we are learning how to operate in our new organizational structure and maintaining or increasing our current level of activity in the mathematics education community.
On April 21, 2017, the full Board of Directors met for a productive meeting. The Board approved new members of committees that were needed to fill all of the committee spots for the 2017 year. We heard and discussed reports from each of the five new divisions: Membership; Professional Learning; Publications; Advocacy, Equity and Research; and Communications & Outreach. As you recall, each division has an appointed Vice-President and a voting, elected board member as a liaison to that division. The new structure allows us to attend more carefully to each aspect of our organization and address how we can best meet AMTE’s stated goals. This also allows the Board to look more globally at our organization and think about the future.
The first Vice-Presidents’ Council meeting took place on March 17, with the 5 Vice-Presidents, President Randy Philipp, Immediate Past President Christine Thomas, and Executive Director Tim Hendrix in attendance. In our new structure, the Vice-Presidents of the Divisions meet once in the month between board meetings. This allows the Vice-Presidents to share what is going on in each division and discuss how we can work across divisions to meet goals. We identify actions that need to be considered and approved by the Board and prepare to present those issues/motions to the Board.
One of the important topics discussed by the Vice-Presidents and shared with the Board is a new cycle of committee volunteer and selection cycle. Last year, in the midst of setting up the restructuring, we suspended use of the Volunteer Form and used previous years’ data to help fill committee slots. This year, we are re-instituting the Volunteer Form (https://amte.net/form/2017/volunteer) to gather information from members who are interested in serving on a committee or volunteering to support the work of the organization in other ways. Please complete this form by June 10. During the summer, the Vice-Presidents and Associate Vice-Presidents in each division will work to make recommendations to the President for committee appointments, seeking broad representation across our organization. Then, the President, Past-President and Executive Director will try to complete the appointments using the information that comes up from each division, and take those recommendations to the Board. Our goal is that recommendations for committee slots starting in February 2018 will be identified and approved by the Board in August 2018, so that members may have advance notice to plan to attend the annual conference and be there to start their committee year’s work! You can help us by volunteering, letting us know of the areas of service in which you are interested. We cannot promise to find spots for everyone who volunteers, but we are working to keep better track of those who volunteer and be able to follow up in subsequent years.
On May 19, the Vice-Presidents’ Council met for the second time this spring, and discussed logistics of upcoming events and deadlines, including webinars, nominations, election applications, plans for the 2018 Annual Conference, scholarship programs, and AMTE Award nominations. We had a first reading of a proposal regarding online learning and ways AMTE might be able to support mathematics teacher educators who are considering this delivery and approach.
Also, on May 5-6, Randy Philipp, Nadine Bezuk and I represented AMTE at the semi-annual meeting of the College Board of Mathematical Sciences (CBMS). This umbrella organization consists of 17 professional societies (http://www.cbmsweb.org/about-cbms/) all of which are focused on some aspect of the mathematical sciences. The breadth of the work of CBMS covers both the advancement of mathematics research and the improvement of mathematics education at all levels. The Council has, in addition to an Executive Director and Administrative Assistant, has five officers: a two-year Chair, a Chair-Elect, Secretary/Treasurer, and two members at large. The Council itself consists of the Presidents of the 17 societies as voting members and the Executive Directors of the organizations as ex officio members. This year, we elected two new officers of CBMS and we are proud to announce that both are AMTE members!
AMTE Immediate Past President Christine Thomas will be a Member-at-Large on the CBMS Executive Council from now to 2019. Congratulations to Christine Thomas and many thanks to her for her willingness to serve the mathematical sciences community in this capacity! In addition, Diane Briars is the new Chair-Elect of CBMS, meaning that in 2018, she will begin her term of service as Chair of CBMS. Diane is a Past President of NCTM and is a long-time member of AMTE. This is a significant appointment, as she will be the first person from the mathematics education professional society community to serve as Chair of CBMS in its 57-year history as an umbrella organization for the mathematical sciences. Congratulations to Diane as well! With both of these voices, the mathematics education and mathematics teacher education communities are well-represented.
AT CBMS, we heard several reports about TIMSS and NAEP Results, as well as an update from AMS on governmental current issues that impact the mathematical sciences. (See Randy Philipp’s article in this newsletter) In addition, AMTE Standards Writing Team leader Nadine Bezuk joined AMTE President Randy Philipp and me (Executive Director Tim Hendrix ) to make a one-hour presentation about the new AMTE Standards for Preparing Teachers of Mathematics (SPTM). We had a very good discussion with the CBMS attendees. Many questions were posed, and the positive reception we received to the presentation was a tribute to the outstanding work that led to the production of this important new document.
Speaking of the Standards, we have now completed an Executive Summary (https://amte.net/sites/default/files/SPTM_ExecSummary.pdf) that gives a snapshot overview of the Standards and hopefully entices interested stakeholders to look more carefully at the full document. Many thanks to colleagues Mike Steele and Marilyn Strutchens, who worked with me on the Executive Summary, and to Joe Champion, Tony Nguyen, and Bonnie Schappelle for their support in producing the document. Also, this summer look for updated news about possible print solutions for SPTM!
In the midst of the summer months, when you are relaxing and finding bursts of productivity, remember that AMTE is hard at work representing the voice of mathematics teacher education in the mathematical sciences community. We need your voice and your volunteerism to be effective in doing so. Please take part of AMTE opportunities to be involved and to recognize the work of our members. Take note of the various dates and deadlines below for the coming months!
June 10—Deadline for submitting the AMTE Volunteer Form
June 12—Deadline for registering for the June 15 Webinar at 11:59 PM Pacific Time
June 15—AMTE Webinar presented by the NTLI Awardees from the 2017 Conference
June 15—Deadline for EMS Scholarship Applications
June 15—Deadline for AMTE Early Career Award and Excellence in Teaching Awards
July 15—Application deadline for AMTE Nominees for the 2017 Elections
July 15—Deadline to apply for the Susan Gay Graduate Student Conference Travel Scholarships
Mid-August—Notification to presenters of accepted proposals for the 2018 Annual Conference
Mid-August—Early Registration will begin for the 2018 Annual AMTE Conference in Houston