Candidate for Secretary
Bethany A Noblitt
Northern Kentucky University
Participation in AMTE and/or AMTE Affiliates(s)
Active AMTE Member
I have been a member for a number of years. In those years, I was actively learning from and with AMTE colleagues. I attended AMTE Conferences, including presenting at three (four presentations), read and submitted to the MTE journal, participated in webinars for Affiliate leaders, and developed collaborations through interactions at the conference.
AMTE Awards Committee, 2014-2017
I was happy to be an active member of this committee. It was here I learned more about the organization of AMTE and worked with some great people awarding some very deserving people to recognize their great accomplishments in mathematics teacher education.
KAMTE Founding President, 2017-present
I am very proud to be the founding president of Kentucky’s AMTE Affiliate. We have accomplished great things in our first two years of existence and I look forward to our future. This includes: a KAMTE strand at the 2017 and 2018 Kentucky Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM state Affiliate) annual conferences, an annual two-day AMTE Standards Summit (where mathematics teacher educators gathered to collaborate on the implementation of the AMTE Standards for the Preparation of Teachers of Mathematics at their home institutions), and hosting mathematics teacher educator professional learning days with distinguished scholars visiting Kentucky. It is my hope that if I am elected to the position of AMTE secretary, I can help inform AMTE of the needs of its Affiliates and that I can help strengthen KAMTE by understanding more about our parent organization.
Participation in Related Organizations
Member of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), 2004 - present
As an NCTM member, I have attended many NCTM Conferences and spoken at several of them. I have also been fortunate to serve NCTM in several official capacities, listed below.
- NCTM Educational Materials Committee, 2016-17
- 2017 NCTM Conference Proposal Reviewer, 2016
- 2016 NCTM Conference Program Committee, 2014-2016
- Affiliate Services Committee, NCTM, 2009-2012 (Chair, 2011-2012)
Member of the Kentucky Council of Teachers of Mathematics (KCTM, Affiliate of NCTM), 2003 – present
As a KCTM member, I have attended and spoken at many KCTM Conferences. I have also been honored to serve KCTM in several official capacities, listed below.
- Vice President College, 2003-2007
- President-Elect, 2008-2009
- President 2009-2010
- Past-President 2010-2011
- NKCTM Board representative, 2011-present
Member of the Northern Kentucky Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NKCTM, Affiliate of NCTM and KCTM), 2003 – present
As a NKCTM member, I have attended many NKCTM workshops and conferences and presented at many of them. I have also served on the NKCTM board in the roles listed below.
- College Representative, 2003-2011
- Secretary, 2011-present
Member of the Mathematical Association of America since 2019.
As a member of the MAA, I attended the July 2019 MAA MathFest in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Qualifications for the Position
I have served in different capacities on the boards of several different professional organizations in the field of mathematics education. Regardless of the role in which I served, I have been a contributing member to the board discussions and activities and to the organization as a whole. I approach my work with honesty and integrity, while being committed to mathematics education for all. I am energetic and willing to serve in any capacity, from brainstorming ideas for future priorities to setting up tables for a conference. As a board member, I believe I am there to serve the organization in any way that is helpful, no matter how grand or how small. I maintain focus on the mission of the organization that I serve, while striving to strengthen the community.
In my roles in several different mathematics education organizations, I have honed the skills necessary to be an effective secretary. The responsibilities of the AMTE Secretary fall into four main categories: minute-taker, record-keeper, communicator, and board member.
First, as secretary of NKCTM, I have developed the skill of listening to a discussion, noting the important aspects of the discussion, while still being a participating member. Also, serving in the role of president of two statewide organizations (KAMTE and KCTM), I have been in a position to need to refer to the minutes that another person has written. From those experiences, I have learned what information should be included in minutes and what information is not necessary to include in minutes. I have found that the minutes should reflect the main points of a group discussion, including decisions made by the group, action items and future topics of discussion. Having said that, each group has its own norms, and I would be sensitive to the norms of AMTE regarding meeting minutes. Along with taking the meeting minutes, I understand that the AMTE Secretary will serve as a record-keeper and will maintain other AMTE records including the Policies and Procedures Handbook. As a member of the KCTM Executive Board, I was instrumental in the drafting and editing of the KCTM Policy Manual. I understand the importance of such a document for an organization and I am committed to maintaining the integrity of the document at the wishes of the board. Another main duty of the AMTE Secretary is to communicate and carry out correspondence to board members and others. I believe that I am prompt and thorough in correspondence with my colleagues. As the KAMTE President, I organize all Executive Board meetings and keep the board informed of the agenda and the expectations for the meetings. Finally, the AMTE Secretary is a voting member of the AMTE board. As such, he or she must hold AMTE up as an organization dedicated to mathematics education for all. My expectations of AMTE are high, and I would be honored to be a part of the leadership of such an important organization.
Three Goals AMTE should make a Priority
The three goals I would like to highlight for AMTE to make a priority are: (1) strengthening relationships with its Affiliates, (2) promoting the AMTE Standards, and (3) continued commitment to issues of equity and diversity.
First, I believe that AMTE should strive to maintain strong supportive relationships with its Affiliates. There are currently 25 AMTE Affiliates, many of these located in the eastern part of the United States. AMTE and its Affiliates could have a mutually beneficial relationship. The Affiliates could serve as a strong network of mathematics educators who could promote AMTE and its initiatives to its members. Conversely, with AMTE’s support, the Affiliates could better serve their local constituents. There are many institutions with only one or two mathematics educators on faculty. These faculty members need a support system that their institutions cannot provide, but their local or regional AMTE Affiliate could. AMTE Affiliates could provide them a much-needed community of mathematics educators and they could provide AMTE (and the Affiliate) with their expertise and support. As the president of a relatively new AMTE Affiliate, I would like to “bring AMTE” to the mathematics educators (and other interested parties) in my region. My Affiliate recently held an AMTE Standards Summit, where attendees dug deep into the AMTE Standards and discussed their influence on our work as mathematics educators. We had the wonderful leadership of Jenny Bay-Williams at the Summit. But, I wonder, without my personal connection to Jenny, how could AMTE have helped support KAMTE in the planning and implementation of such a meeting? I think one responsibility of the Affiliates is to promote AMTE initiatives. But, in order to support AMTE initiatives, the Affiliates may need support from AMTE. I think one important way that AMTE can further its impact is to support its Affiliates. In order to know what form this support should take, there must be good communication between Affiliates and AMTE.
I believe that having strong Affiliate/AMTE relationships will help with all AMTE priorities. The next two goals I will discuss are no exceptions. I believe continuing to promote the AMTE Standards must be a priority for AMTE. While many mathematics educators know about the AMTE Standards, many do not. And those who do, may not know how the standards might influence their work. Like K-12 teachers, mathematics educators desire guidance and collaboration when thinking about standards and how they manifest themselves in their work. I believe AMTE could play a more significant role in promoting the standards and providing AMTE members with professional development around the standards. For example, AMTE Affiliates could help with this goal by providing their membership with professional development around the standards. AMTE could help the Affiliates by continuing to provide materials and expertise for professional development around the standards. The AMTE Standards were written by professionals in the field of mathematics education, trusted individuals with the best interest of mathematics students at heart. Getting the standards in the hands of those who work directly with teachers is vital to the implementation of these powerful standards.
Finally, I believe that AMTE should continue its commitment to issues of equity and diversity. These issues should not be a “conference focus” or a “focus of the year.” They should be a focus of the organization, period. The opening plenary session at the 2019 AMTE Conference was titled, “Challenges and Opportunities on our Journeys of Embodying our Commitment to Equity.” It was a powerful session and I would love to have had continued learning and discussion after the session and throughout the year. To further AMTE’s commitment to equity, might AMTE consider ways to extend the learning that occurs at the AMTE conference (for those attending and those not able to attend)? Again, I believe that working with Affiliates to promote discussion and action about equity and diversity issues is one way to ensure that this focus goes beyond the approximately 1000 members of AMTE to the thousands of mathematics educators and mathematics teachers in the nation. For example, each Affiliate (or region/state) could have a session for their constituents where key points from the plenary session are discussed.
The mission of AMTE is “to promote the improvement of mathematics teacher education, K-12.” My entire academic career has been dedicated to this mission. My involvement in professional organizations promoting improvement in mathematics education began before I obtained my PhD in mathematics education. Once I began a tenure-track position in mathematics education, I became more involved in improving mathematics teacher education. In my current roles, I am dedicated to helping current mathematics educators, mostly serving at institutions of higher learning, do their work in the most effective way supported by research. I have facilitated numerous workshops for teachers and preservice teachers. I have planned and organized many professional development opportunities for pre-service teachers (mostly through NKCTM), teachers (through KCTM and NKCTM), and mathematics educators (through KAMTE). I have taught mathematics and education courses for both preservice teachers and in-service teachers. Through these experiences I have gained some insight into what those different groups need and want. I believe I could be a valuable addition to the AMTE board for that reason.