Mathematics teacher educators from across North Carolina came together for a one-day conference that the North Carolina affiliate of the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators (AMTE-NC) hosted at the NC State College of Education on Monday, Aug. 13. The first-of-its-kind event provided an opportunity for professional development, networking and community building for 53 mathematics teacher educators representing 15 universities and colleges and the N.C. Department of Public Instruction.
The event provided space and time to discuss how to best prepare prospective teachers and support practicing teachers to plan high-quality instruction for recently adopted NC math standards. For part of the day, the group considered how they can effectively utilize materials that have been developed within the last two years by mathematics teachers, leaders and university faculty from across the state.
“The materials are intended to support K-12 teachers as they implement the new standards, but we discussed how we can effectively use the materials in our university methods courses and in professional development settings to bolster the impact,” said Temple Walkowiak, associate professor of mathematics education and president of AMTE-NC.
A second part of the day was focused on mathematics methods courses in teacher preparation and how they prepare prospective teachers to provide equitable learning opportunities for all students.
Walkowiak said AMTE-NC and the national organization of AMTE have a strong commitment to preparing and supporting teachers to provide high-quality instruction to all students.
“We focused our conversation on issues of equity, diversity, and how we attend to equitable instructional practices in our methods courses.”
Walkowiak says the group is a relatively young affiliate of AMTE, but they are accomplishing the goals set out for them. By engaging in cross-institutional critical discussion about mathematics teacher education, she says, they can leverage each other’s knowledge and experiences for the improvement of their own teacher preparation programs and to better understand how to effectively support K-12 teachers in their instruction of mathematics.
Looking ahead, AMTE-NC aims to continue to extend its reach.
“The event was pivotal for increasing our membership. In 2017, we had just over 40 members, and now, we have over 70 members in AMTE-NC,” said Walkowiak.
“The network of mathematics teacher educators in North Carolina is strong and growing stronger. Our goal is to broaden our membership to include school district mathematics leaders because we know that collaborative partnerships with this group are essential and critical in the work of university-based mathematics teacher educators.”