Message from NCSM President, Paul Gray

Reunited…And It Feels So Good

Conference season is back in swing! I’ve had the good fortune to travel as NCSM president to several conferences this fall. One thing I’ve noticed across the country is that everyone is just so excited to be back together after three fricking years of not being able to have in-person gatherings.

There’s a lot of value in virtual learning opportunities. I’ve been in the conference planning world for a long time and well before COVID we had people who couldn’t attend the in-person event for a variety of reasons, including scheduling conflicts, financial barriers, and many others. Groups I’ve been a part of that plan conferences were always reluctant to use technology to make too much of the event available virtually out of concern that people wouldn’t attend the in-person event.

One thing I’m thankful for that we learned during COVID is how to make virtual professional learning work. And I hope we keep that. There are a lot of reasons that synchronous virtual learning hits the sweet spot for mathematics education leaders. Just last week, we had an NCSM Leadership Seminar with people from Alaska, Canada, California, Iowa, Massachusetts, Georgia, and parts in between. Since there were no travel costs and the registration fee was minimal, we were able to make this powerful learning accessible to more people. Technology can serve as an equalizer for people and removes barriers such as geography and the expense of travel.

That said, sometimes you just have to be in the room together. I experienced that firsthand at the conferences I’ve been attending in October and November. As a presenter, it’s much easier for me to read the room during an in-person session so that I can monitor and adjust accordingly. Good conference presentations are like good classroom lessons. You start with a script and key information then go where the learners take you. It’s hard to replicate that sense of monitoring in a Zoom room.

I’ve also gotten to observe some of the rituals that different national and state organizations have. What a privilege it is to see someone honored by their colleagues with a recognition award. Exhibit halls provide us with unique opportunities to build our professional networks and browse through resources that just might be what our teachers and students need. And of course, one of the main benefits of traveling to an in-person conference is the networking and relationship building that occurs after the
sessions stop for the day. If you really want to build your team, take them to a conference. Learn together during the day then go have fun together in the evenings. Those are the stories and experiences you bring home with you that draw your colleagues closer together.

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer once said, “there’s not one path for everyone, but everyone deserves a path that’s right for them.” I believe that to be true for our students and teachers. I believe that to be true for teachers’ and mathematics leaders’ professional learning options. And as a mathematics education professional organization, NCSM has an obligation to provide multiple paths to professional learning so that our members and constituents can find the path that’s right for them.

Y’all be careful. We’ll touch base again in December.




More Information HERE


We invite proposals that focus on the following conference strands. Proposals can answer one or more of the questions in the strand but does not need to answer all the questions.


1. Stories of Advocacy

2. Stories of Empowerment

3. Stories of Redesigning Mathematics Instruction

4. Stories Yet to be Told


Call for Manuscripts!

More information HERE


The editors of the NCSM Journal of Mathematics Education Leadership (JMEL) are interested in manuscripts! 


The editors are particularly interested in manuscripts that bridge research to practice in mathematics education leadership. Manuscripts should be relevant to our members’ roles as leaders in mathematics education, and implications of the manuscript for leaders in mathematics education should be significant. At least one author of the manuscript must be a current member of NCSM.


Click on any IMAGE below for more info!!!!

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Virtual Coaching Labs - From Jenny Novak NCSM 2nd VP, Erin Lehmann NCSM PL Director  & Ian Shenk RD


NCSM Inspiration! - From Kim Romain and Luis Lima, NCSM Inspiration Co-Editors

NCSM Journal of Mathematics Education Leadership - From Erin Lehmann & Paula Jakopovic, NCSM Journal Co-Editors

Essential Actions: Culturally Relevant Leadership in Mathematics Education


Regional Director Blog


Joint Position Paper

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