February 2022 NCSM Insider


Message from NCSM President, Paul Gray

Is the Groundhog Ever Right?


Who the heck decided that a rodent could forecast the weather? Last year, the groundhog didn’t see his shadow and declared an early spring. Shortly thereafter, Texas and much of the country froze to the core. This year, one groundhog gave up the ghost on the day before Groundhog Day rather than risk making a prediction and another predicted 6 more weeks of winter. Which I thought was bold talk after a couple of blizzards blanketed the Midwest and Northeast. Seems like the weather business lately is risky for a rodent.

Earlier this month, I had the good fortune to attend both the NCTM Regional Conference in New Orleans and the AMTE Annual Conference in Las Vegas. In New Orleans, I was waiting at the NCSM booth the day before the conference opened and looked around. Other exhibitors were building their booths, literally assembling pipes and backdrops that frame what we have come to know as a well-decorated booth in an exhibit hall. A few commented how it has been so long since they’ve put the booth together that they forgot how. I can relate to that on more levels than I’d care to think about.


Then the next morning, I watched as teachers and mathematics leaders entered the registration area and planned their sessions to attend that day. That’s when it hit me. I was watching the conference sprout up around me. Each exhibitors’ booth was growing from the ground like those first plants awakening from a long winter’s nap. There were fewer educators at the conference, but there were educators. Hundreds of them.


Could it be that we are finally entering springtime after a long, two-year COVID winter?


I think we might be. I know that the pandemic isn’t over yet, and we are going to have to learn to live with COVID-19 in an endemic world. The SARS-CoV-2 virus and its mutations aren’t going anywhere. And there may be more mutations over the horizon. But for the first time in a very long time, I have hope.


We are learning how to safely gather together in an endemic world and some common expectations are emerging. K-12 schools and universities have required proof of vaccination against a slew of diseases for decades and that is a part of our cultural norm. It’s becoming a cultural norm to require proof of vaccination against COVID, or at least a recent negative COVID test, for large gatherings. All conferences that I have attended in the last few months or are planning to attend have laid out an expectation that attendees will be vaccinated or recently tested negative along with onsite mask wearing. Some of those conferences employ an honor system and others require attendees to provide evidence of vaccination or a negative test. Public health professionals are speaking of layers of protection, including vaccination and mask wearing. We are learning how to use those layers to help everyone manage their level of risk so we can return to our in-person gatherings.


I’m not going to pretend to know what the future holds. Last summer, I was excited about coming together in Atlanta until the Delta variant put the kibosh on that. Last December, I began planning the NCSM Board of Directors meeting in St. Louis and then Omicron reared its ugly head. So we are in a pattern of planning for life to go on while keeping an eye on contingency plans in case another Greek letter enters our daily vocabulary.


 And that’s where we are with our upcoming 54th Annual Conference in Anaheim this coming September. We have a program set, registration opens this month, and we’re busy making plans for one heck of a mathematics leadership reunion. And I’ll tell you what, I need that reunion. After two years of a virtual conference, I’m ready to be in a physical room with my treasured colleagues. At the NCTM Regional Conference in New Orleans, I got a taste of what is to come. And I am more optimistic than I have been in a while that we can actually pull off an in-person Math Week again soon.


I’ve come to think of spring as a tug of war between winter and summer that winter eventually loses. At first, summer creeps in and takes a few days away from winter. Then winter steps back in and reminds of that she is still in charge. Gradually, you get more summer than winter until by the end of spring, we know we have a few months of solid warmth ahead of us. It’s feeling like we are in a similar place with COVID. That virus isn’t done with us yet, but there are some signs of equilibrium emerging. NCSM’s first test of that equilibrium will be our Summer Leadership Academy in Baltimore, Maryland, on June 27-29, 2022. Virtual learning isn’t going away, but we will find an equilibrium where virtual and in-person professional learning balances. And that will see me in a much happier place.


Y’all be careful and we’ll touch base again in March.


NCSM is excited to announce the keynote speaker for our Annual Conference - Dr. Tyrone Howard! Plan now to join us in Anaheim, CA September 26-28!!! #NCSM22

Call for Manuscripts!!!!

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.


Categories for submissions include:

  • Case studies and lessons learned from mathematics education leadership in schools, districts, states, regions, or provinces
  • Research reports with implications for mathematics education leaders
  • Professional development efforts including how these efforts are situated in the larger context of professional development and implications for leadership practice
  • Other categories that support the NCSM vision will also be considered.

Submission Procedures 

  • Each manuscript will be reviewed by two volunteer reviewers and a member of the editorial panel. Manuscripts should be emailed to the Journal Editors, currently Drs. Erin Lehmann and Paula Jakopovic, at [email protected] 

Submissions should follow the most current edition of APA style and include:

  1. A Word file(.docx) with author information (name, title, institution, address, phone, email) and an abstract (maximum of 120 words) followed by the body of the manuscript (maximum of 12,000 words)
  2. Ablinded Word file (.docx) as above but with author information and all references to authors removed.

Click on any image below for more info!!!!.

Latest NCSM Podcast - From Mona Toncheff, NCSM Past President & John SanGiovanni, RD for Eastern Region 2

Virtual Seminars 3/7 - Register by 3/2  - From Jenny Novak & Pam Seda, NCSM Professional Learning Directors


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

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