How we mark the passing of time is a uniquely human experience. Within our own work as mathematics teacher educators, there are a number of markers in our lives that bring closure to one era and begin one anew. We mark the starts and ends of our calendar years, our academic years, our work with cohorts of students and teachers, and many more in our personal spheres. Since beginning my service on the Board of Directors of AMTE, February has added yet another marker – the AMTE Annual Conference and the start of a new year of AMTE leadership. It’s my honor to be chosen to serve you, our members, as your President for the next two years. I’d like to thank Immediate Past President Randy Philipp and Executive Director Tim Hendrix for being extraordinary supports for me during my year as President-Elect to prepare me to take on this challenge, and I look forward to continuing to work with them and the AMTE Board of Directors to move our organization forward.
I’d also like to extend a warm welcome to our new board members, Treasurer Sarah Quebec Fuentes and Member-At-Large Enrique Galindo. Sarah and Enrique bring experience, passion, and new ideas to our board and I’m excited to have their voices as a part of our work.
With the dawning of each new AMTE year, the Board of Directors identifies a set of strategic priorities for the year ahead. The priorities guide the work of the Board, the Divisions, and the Committees, and set an organizational direction for AMTE. This year, the Board has identified three priorities that are shown below. Unlike in years past, these priorities will serve the organization for the next two years, to provide additional space for complex and meaningful work to unfold over a broader time scale. In the rest of this column, I unpack each of these a bit and provide you, our members, with information about how you can support work on the Strategic Priorities.
Strategic Priority 1: Explore multiple avenues for AMTE members to recognize and address inequities, building toward equitable practices.
Strategic Priority 1 expresses and extends our organization’s commitment to equity, among ourselves and in our work of teaching, research, and service as mathematics teacher educators. We seek to identify ways in which our work and the work of mathematics education more broadly is inequitable, and to cast light on those inequities with the goal of identifying more equitable practices that support each and every mathematics student, teacher, and teacher educator. Our opening session at the 2019 Annual Conference was viewed as a milepost in this continued work, and we are looking forward to several synchronous and asynchronous opportunities to continue the conversation through AMTE’s social media presence, webinars, and publications this year. If you have ideas about a perspective on equity/inequity in our work that you’d like AMTE to highlight, please reach out to myself or Vice President for Advocacy, Equity, and Research, Sarah van Ingen.
Strategic Priority 2: Identify and engage a broader constituency for AMTE.
Strategic Priority 2 is an idea that has been under discussion within AMTE for some time, and intersects and interacts with Priority 1. AMTE’s work and membership has been dominated largely by mathematics teacher educators at institutions of higher education in its history. We seek to engage in a thoughtful conversation about how we could and should expand our reach as an organization. This effort may mean many things. It may mean reaching out to folks who do mathematics teacher education in the context of professional development organizations, intermediate school districts or other state-based regional consortia, or district-level personnel and classroom teachers who do important work as teacher educators. It could mean elevating voices and constituencies within AMTE that are not well represented – from different types of institutions, backgrounds, appointments, and perspectives. It could mean carefully considering the people that have status and voice on our conference program and seeking to better balance that program in a number of ways. And it could mean stronger bi-directional connections between our affiliates and the national organization, seeking to learn from each other about how they serve mathematics teacher educators through our work. Look for plenty of communication from our organization, both directly to you and through your affiliates, about this initiative in the coming year.
Strategic Priority 3: Engage membership in strategic planning for the organization.
Strategic Priority 3 comes at an important time in our development as an organization. Coming off of our most well-attended conference in history and in our third year of a reorganized administrative structure, we feel that it is time to chart a long-term path and narrative for AMTE as an organization. Rather than simply identifying a new set of annual goals each year, AMTE will seek to engage in a process that results in both short- and long-term priorities and codified ways of revisiting, revising, and updating those priorities over time. Strategic planning is a deliberative and thoughtful process when done well, and we hope to learn from our collective experiences in our institutional spheres to engage AMTE in a meaningful planning process.
I view my leadership role as a role of service – while some of my work involves administration of the organization, I see my primary responsibility as being to you, our members, who have trusted me to take on this position. As such, I encourage you to reach out to me with thoughts, ideas, concerns, or inspirations for how we can make AMTE stronger today, tomorrow, and in the future.
Happy New Year, AMTE!