Friday, May 18, 2012

Math Leadership Conference

A week today I will be hosting a Math Leadership conference at St. Mike's. I have invited twenty K-6 school-based math leaders from around Northwest Vermont for a day of exploring what it means to be a math leader. My good friend T.J. Jemison, an independent math consultant, will be co-hosting the day in which we have two specific goals.

The first goal is to develop a sense of what it means to be a math coach/leader. The math leaders will be invited to share the types of things they do in schools on a daily basis; what sorts of things they have found successful and those they have found challenging. By doing this we hope to initiate a support system that will provide the math leaders with a "learning community" through which they can share their knowledge ad experiences with others, as well as develop their own professional skills. During the seven years I spent between my two experiences in H.E. I served as a school-based professional development specialist in three school districts; first as a science education specialist and then as a math education specialist. I enjoyed the positions immensely as, after 17 years in higher education, I really needed to refresh my understanding of what it is like to work in schools and classrooms on a regular basis. I have always felt the theory connected with my college teaching needs to be well-grounded in practical application.

The other goal for the Math Leadership day is to generate ideas and information for the development of a grant to support the ongoing work of school-based math leaders especially in the context of the impending Common Core Curriculum. We will spend part of the day thinking about those things that would help make a smooth transition to the Common Core as well as those things that will improve student learning that, perhaps, local funding cannot support.


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