Election 2017: Trena Wilkerson

Past Participation and Involvement in AMTE and/or AMTE Affiliates(s)

My first participation in AMTE was in 2002 as a presenter at the annual conference. I realized then that this was the organization and professional community that would aid in guiding me as I worked in mathematics teacher education. Since that time I have had the privilege to serve the organization in several capacities that include: Conference Program Committee member (2007 & 2009), Awards Committee member (2007-2010, Chair in 2010), Member of Editorial Committee 7th Monograph for AMTE-Mathematics Teaching: Putting Research into Practice at All Levels, Connections Newsletter editor and Board Member (2010-2014), Chair of Communications Task Force (2011), Chair of Communications Committee (2011-2012), Director of Publications Search Committee member (2012) and currently a member of the Professional Development for Members Committee (2016-2019). I have also reviewed for TE-MAT, Mathematics Teacher Educator, and proposals for the annual conference over the years, as well as served as a presenter (2002, 2005, 2007-12, 2014-2016).

One area of that work that was particularly meaningful to me and I believe had an impact on the organization was when serving as the editor of the newsletter, this led to chairing a task force that strategically examined communications for the organization that led to work that continues today to expand in different ways. It was an honor to work with such talented visionaries to support AMTE members and it is exciting to see where AMTE is today in relation to communication! I was fortunate to have been a part of that initiative.

Our AMTE Texas affiliate was officially formed in 2008 and I served as the first membership chair from 2009-2011 then as President from 2012-2014. I am currently a member of the President’s Council for the organization. In 2013 we began having annual fall conferences. I have served in various capacities over the years to assist in hosting two of them. Recently I led a proposal to host the conference at our university in 2019. It was accepted and I will chair the conference. I have reviewed conference proposals and presented at our annual conference Additionally, I have published in our online journal.

What qualities do you bring to the AMTE President-Elect Position?

Having served on the AMTE Board, as editor of the newsletter, and in various committee and conference roles, I feel I have a strong foundation of leadership experience in the organization and an understanding of its purpose, mission, and direction. Historically I have a view of what was, but I am also excited about the future with the new organizational and governance structure focused on involving members in leading in mathematics education. With the new structure, I believe more voices will be heard and more members will have opportunities to engage in the work ahead to support the mission of AMTE to promote the improvement of mathematics teacher education, K-12. This is an exciting time!

I have been active in a number of professional organizations including the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) of which AMTE is an affiliate. I served on the NCTM Board of Directors (2014-2017) and was a member of the Editorial Panel for the Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School (MTMS) journal (2005-2009, chair 2007-2009), Editor of the Quick Reads Department for MTMS (2011-2013), member of both a regional conference program committee and an annual, and presenter for the professional development strand of the Algebra Readiness Institute (2014-2016). I have presented at both regional and national annual meetings and published in the Mathematics Teacher, Teaching Children Mathematics, and Journal for Research in Mathematics Education (as part of the NCTM Research Committee).

The combination of 18 years of high school teaching experience with almost 25 years of work in mathematics teacher education, positions me well to understand the role of mathematics education across a wide spectrum of individuals, arenas, issues, and challenges. My involvement at the national, state and local levels illustrates my leadership and organizational abilities and experiences in mathematics teacher education. I believe I have an open-mind and am willing to listen and most importantly to get membership involved. I work well in building team efforts. I believe these qualities would serve me well in the role of President of AMTE.

What three goals do you think AMTE should make a priority?

As I reviewed the mission and goals of AMTE along with its 2017 priorities I have identified three goals that I believe AMTE should make as priorities:

  1. Expand and strengthen support to connect mathematics teacher educators (MTEs)
  2. Advocate for and provide resources to guide research to inform MTE
  3. Be a conduit for engaging professional organizations across a variety of areas to examine needs and support collaboration across multiple issues and challenges related to mathematics education

The first goal relates directly to AMTE’s mission. If we are to continuously seek to improve mathematics teacher education we need to support MTEs in multiple ways, one of which is to provide ways for networking, and collaboration to build community. AMTE already does this in many ways, but we need to expand this work to reach each and every MTE where they are in their journey and provide ways for them to find their supportive community.

The second reflects the need for continued research that supports the work of MTEs. There are many challenges, issues, and paths for teacher education and while we have some key research-based knowledge of some of these areas we are in need of not only more, but a strategic plan for examining mathematics teacher education. One foundational guide for this strategic endeavor could be the Standards for Preparing Teachers of Mathematics. Bringing together groups to begin to think about this strategic approach would be important.

My third goal illustrates the need to be sure that ‘all appropriate parties’ are engaged in the work of mathematics teacher education. As an organization, AMTE, collaborates with many entities such as NCTM, NCSM, TODOS, and foundations. I believe it would be important to examine a variety of viewpoints in particular to guide the work of the first two goals discussed. My thought is that together we can move mathematics teacher education forward in a visionary direction.

It is essential that we, as AMTE, reach and support each and every mathematics teacher educator across the nation to work together to prepare future and practicing teachers to bring rich, rigorous mathematics to our K-12 students to ensure their success. We want educators, teachers, leaders, parents, and policy makers to work together for K-12 students to be successful. The questions asked recently by AMTE, How might we, the mathematics education community, make a difference in the teaching and learning of mathematics "that promote rich, rigorous, and relevant mathematical experiences" for all students? What key actions should we consider? are still central to the conversation. This is an on-going part of our direction as a mathematics teacher educator community. We have much work ahead to keep mathematics education at the center of the conversation and the actions in mathematics education. I would be honored to be a part of a leadership team that moves in that direction.

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