Election 2019: Marrielle Myers

Participation in AMTE and/or AMTE Affiliates(s)

My involvement in AMTE started when I was a graduate student. I have been a member of
AMTE for over a decade. During that time, I have presented at conferences, attended graduate student networking events, been a STaR fellow, served on a mentoring panel for new STaR fellows, and, most recently, I was an opening plenary speaker for the 2019 conference in Orlando.

This year, I served on an ad-hoc Program committee. In that role, I worked with a group of colleagues to address the following issues:

  1. Conference Proposal Strands that reflect the AMTE Standards
  2. Conference Proposal Strands that reflect the needs of our membership
  3. Evaluate the current proposal evaluation rubrics in light of recommended changes to the overall program structure with particular attention to developing strong research- and practice-based themes in the Conference.
  4. Any other recommendations that may emerge after investigation and discussion with the Membership Task Force
  5. What sort of processes and possibilities might there be for Committees within AMTE to propose sessions for the Conference?
  6. How might Committee sessions count/not count toward the two maximum times that one's name appears on the program? Are there ways to allow people to engage in Committee work and still be able to present at two of their research sessions?

Additionally, I am currently serving on a committee with six other colleagues to plan the 2020 opening plenary. This particular service is very engaging as I was invited to be a plenary speaker at the 2019 annual meeting. My committee members and I have engaged in critical conversations about the purpose of an opening plenary, what topics might be relevant for the membership, and how these topics relate to the mission of the organization. We have also thought about how the proposed speaker(s) should reflect the diversity of our organization on numerous levels. I won’t give any spoilers, but I think our members will be pleased with the 2020 panel!

My current and previous involvement with AMTE have been very fulfilling, and I look forward to the opportunity to serve in a higher capacity.

Participation in Related Organizations

Georgia Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Program Committee, 2015-2016
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Research Committee, 2019-2022

Qualifications for the Position

I am very excited to have received this nomination. The board-member-at-large position is critical to the success of AMTE in that board members are responsible for ensuring that the goals of the organization are met, that the work done by the board and other committees aligns with the governing documents, that the president is supported to carry out their agenda, among other things. I am uniquely qualified for this position for a few reasons. First, I have had a host of experiences as a graduate student, faculty member, conference presenter, committee member, and an opening speaker that offer me a broad lens about the work of AMTE, the importance of serving the membership, and the nuances about how various committees work together. Second, a recurring priority for AMTE is equity. Given the focus of equity, social justice, and culture in my scholarship, I am well poised to help the board work towards that priority and ensure that it remains at the forefront of our conversations. And while equity is critical, we must also consider intersectionality in mathematics education. Next, I served as a program coordinator for a sizeable elementary program (~200 students) for four years (2015-2019). In this role, I became acutely aware of the complexity of mathematics teacher preparation, the role of school partnerships, the role of university supervisors, and how outside forces (e.g., accrediting bodies, edTPA) shape our programs. This lens is critical as AMTE thinks about how to identify and engage a broader constituency (AMTE’s second priority for 2019), which partners need to be at the table, and how we can harness our collective expertise to continue improving mathematics teacher education. I also serve on the Faculty Senate, Department Faculty Council (DFC) and Chair of the College Faculty Council (CFC). In each of these shared governance bodies, I participate in strategic planning efforts, which is another priority for AMTE. These types of experiences will be useful as I am prepared to work with the board to think about AMTE 5, 10, 15, and 20 years from now and what we must do as an organization to both be sustainable, innovative, and competitive.   

Three Goals AMTE should make a Priority

AMTE should maintain a focus on supporting faculty to see inequities, understand systemic and structural problems that contribute to those inequities, and how all of the membership is responsible for working towards equity and advocacy for historically marginalized students, teacher candidates, and math ed faculty. While this is sometimes more broadly categorized as equity, AMTE must continue to provide vision and leadership to all constituents related to unpacking inequity.

Another priority that I would introduce if given this opportunity would be for the membership of AMTE to understand the significant, outside forces that threaten mathematics education and mathematics teacher preparation (e.g., alternative certification programs, national testing) and what these threats mean for our practice. Many teacher education programs across the country are seeing a decline in enrollment, yet it is easy for faculty members to check out from some of those conversations because we see it as the role of a Dean or chair, or because we are overwhelmed with other tasks. And while our research is paramount, we must also acknowledge the politics of education and the external forces that impose upon higher education. We must engage all constituents in our organization in understanding the politics of our own spaces as faculty members and how we can work to reclaim our profession. We no longer have an option of whether or not we should advocate for our profession. We must all engage in advocacy work.

Finally, I think that AMTE should prioritize providing mentoring for doctoral students, particularly those from historically marginalized and minoritized groups. Our primary mission is to support the improvement of mathematics teacher education. And this work should start with those completing doctoral programs. Not only are doctoral students often teaching mathematics or math ed courses as a part of their assistantships, but they are also often doing it in isolation. While I commend AMTE for providing spaces for graduate students to connect at the Conference, I would propose creating a formal mentoring structure that could give particular supports throughout the year. This program would likely include quarterly video meetings that address various topics pertinent to graduate students, developing a "buddy" or "partner" plan to pair graduate students up with others that have similar interests, working with state affiliate organizations to hold local meet-ups, and recognizing doctoral students upon program completion.

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