From the President's Desk...
We live in a fascinating time of change and transition in the field of mathematics education. The state standards have changed for a second time since 2005, the state assessments now dig much deeper into students’ mathematical understanding, and the state teacher evaluations include a measurement of student growth. This is no longer school as any of us experienced it first hand as students, forcing mathematics teachers everywhere across the state of Georgia to step out into an uncharted world of mastering new expectations and instructional practices.
The Georgia Council of Teachers of Mathematics (GCTM) has existed since 1950 to represent and support the interests of its members within and across the state, and this is no less true in this current climate of change and transition. The mission statement of GCTM is four-fold: to promote a high quality mathematics education for all students, to encourage an active interest in mathematics and in mathematics education, to promote ongoing professional development for mathematics education, and to promote and reward excellence in the teaching of mathematics in the state of Georgia. In an effort to address this mission statement in these modern circumstances, the theme of the Georgia Mathematics Conference 2014 was “Mathematics for ALL: Let’s Build Bridges” to speak to the opportunity of providing access and equity for every mathematics student in our state. GMC 2015 will continue the discourse for this essential aspect of student learning.
The Georgia Summer Mathematics Academies sponsored by GCTM will take place in four locations across the state during the summer of 2015. These Summer Academies will continue the tradition of providing high-quality professional learning for each grade-level and course of the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards. Additionally, the advocacy efforts of GCTM have stepped up considerably across 2014. Math Day at the Capitol was an inaugural event in March of 2014, providing opportunities for members and officers of GCTM to discuss educational concerns with our state legislators. Math Day at the Capitol 2015 is scheduled for February 24th. Specific details for this annual event will be forthcoming. The objective of these deeper ventures into advocacy is to keep the concerns and expertise of GCTM and its members before those who make decisions which affect each teacher in the state.
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” is often quoted from Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities. This quote, along with the sentences following it within the novel, depict a clear choice for the book’s characters. Their choice, much like ours today, was to determine how they would interpret and act upon the circumstances of their times. It is my hope that we will see the reality of the changes and transitions before us, and we will choose to act upon them in a constructive manner with the Georgia Council of Teachers of Mathematics leading the way.