January 2022 NCSM Insider


Message from NCSM President, Paul Gray

Inspirational Quotes

January 18, 2022


I graduated from Eisenhower High School in Houston, Texas, in 1991. I was the valedictorian of my class, so I had the honor of giving the valedictory address where we look forward to the future. My senior English teacher may have regularly disagreed, but I think I’ve always been a decent to pretty good writer. But, y’all, I struggled with writing that speech. After reading one draft my senior counselor, bless his heart, smiled kindly and suggested that I might want to consider beginning my speech with an inspirational quote. This was pre-Google so he lent me a book of quotes he had in his office. It didn’t help.


Fast forward 31 years and here I am writing this installment of the monthly NCSM Insider president’s message. After a brief bout with writers block, my senior counselor’s advice crept back into my mind and so I began searching for an inspirational quote to begin this message. I scrolled through my Facebook feed, talked with my sister who teaches 4th grade ELA/R in Houston, and consulted with trusted friends and colleagues in the classroom to take the pulse of what’s going on in today’s schools. And I found my inspirational quote.


Well, shoot.

--Leslie Jordan


That’s not exactly what Leslie Jordan is famous for saying (Google it to find the correct four-letter word), but since this is a family-friendly space we’ll go with it. I just can’t think of a better quote to capture this unique (please, let it be unique!) moment in time. Last month, I wrote about how we thought the 2021-2022 school year would be a recovery year only to find out that it’s a survival year. Literally. And everyone needs to stop saying, “it can’t get worse” because the coronavirus takes that as a dare and mutates to prove us wrong.


So here we are, in January 2022, in the peak of the North American outbreaks of the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2, trying to figure out how we can pretend to do in-person schooling while keeping everyone from getting sick at the same time. Parents and superintendents are teaching classes. National Guard soldiers are driving school buses and giving COVID tests at schools. Now, I could get all academic, which I am prone to do, and talk about innovative instructional strategies, sticking to what we know works well for kids vis-à-vis NCTM’s equitable and effective mathematics teaching practices, or find a really cool Brene Brown quote to encourage us all to hang in there.


But I think Leslie Jordan said it best.


We are literally in a day to day world right now. If you made it to the end of the day, please pat yourself on the back. Look yourself in the mirror and say, “you made it again, you survivor!” Because in these times, making it to the end of another day is an accomplishment worth celebrating. Check on a classroom teacher colleague because he or she is not okay. Smile an extra smile at your assistant principal and principal. Send your superintendent an email thanking them for all their hard work and their leadership. I think you’d be surprised at how far a small act of kindness will go toward carrying someone to the end of another day. As Dolly Parton says, “if you see someone without a smile, give ‘em yours.”


We are our best resources for getting through this icky situation. Our professional network has never been more important. Whether that’s your colleagues in your school or district, social media networks, or professional organizations like NCSM, let’s make a pact to lean in on each other and carry one another through this. To borrow a line from Clairee Belcher in Steel Magnolias, “that which does not kill us makes us stronger.” And we are so much stronger together.


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

From Paul Gray, NCSM President (2021-2023)

Click the image for more information and how to register teams for free!

NCSM Conference in Anaheim - September 26-28, 2022

In 2022, NCSM celebrates its 54th Annual Conference, continuing its dedication to the life-long learning of bold mathematics education leaders. NCSM is committed to supporting leaders’ work in inspiring high-quality mathematics teaching and learning every day for each and every learner.


Imagine a future of powerful mathematics education! Be one of the speakers who Inspires colleagues through bold leadership so that they may Influence educators through structures and ideas like coaching and Impact systems for equity and social justice. 





IMAGINE a Future of Powerful Mathematics Education:  Imagine the possibilities and innovations that make a difference in powerful mathematics teaching and learning! How do we provide bold leadership at all levels that develops and commits to a shared vision for teaching and learning for each and every learner, helps to create culturally responsive spaces, and provides the support necessary for risk-taking? 



INSPIRE Colleagues Through Bold Leadership:  In what ways do we inspire colleagues and those we lead to reflect the NCSM framework for leadership?  



INFLUENCE Educators Through Coaching:  How do we use our influence to create meaningful learning experiences? 



IMPACT Systems for Equity and Social Justice:  What systems need to be adapted, adjusted, or dismantled to create authentic learning environments for both students and adults? In what ways can we use bold leadership to impact mathematics learning for all students with an emphasis on equity? 


From Sharon Rendon, NCSM First Vice-President

Regional Director Blog

Did you know that each NCSM Regional Director maintains a blog to keep members in their region informed with events and ideas that are happening in their region? Fall updates are in progress, so visit the Regional Director Locator page on the NCSM website, find your Regional Director, and then read the latest news from your region!


The Mathematics Teacher Educator journal (co-published by The Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators–AMTE and National Council of Teachers of Mathematics–NCTM) invites submissions to a new article format for the journal, Perspectives on Practice. Manuscripts for Perspectives on Practice will focus on an innovation in a previously-published MTE article and describe how it was interpreted, iterated, or improved in practice. The manuscript should also provide some insights into how the changes during the enactment influenced evidence of learning, using the evidence of learning in the original article as a foundation. Please see the full call for additional information.

The AMTE publication Connections is seeking brief manuscripts related to the integration of mathematics teacher education with other disciplines/areas within teacher education. Mathematics teacher education is broadly considered as initial teacher preparation and both the continuing education and professional development of practicing teachers. Mathematics should have a key focus, and connected disciplines/areas could include STEM, dual language immersion, literacy, and special education, amongst others. Please see the full call for additional information.

NCSM Annual Report

NCSM is proud to release the 2020-2021 NCSM Annual Report for each member to read. In our annual report, you will learn more about the work of the board – from our newest publications, current membership information, regional director and treasurer reports, to a preview of leadership events coming in 2022.


NCSM continues to respond to mathematics leaders’ needs during the COVID-19 pandemic and strives to build a better and more equitable education system for each and every child. We look forward to a shift from a pandemic world to an endemic world while we work together to create a better, more just “new normal.”

Latest NCSM Podcast with John Ewing

New episodes for the Learning with Leaders: The Game Changers series podcast will be released on the 11th of each month. More information on how to listen to the podcasts can be found on the NCSM website.  


You can listen on your favorite podcast platform using the links below.  

From Mona Toncheff, NCSM Past President, and John SanGiovanni, Regional Director for Eastern Region 2


Register Now for the NCSM One-Day Virtual Seminars

Ready to make a real difference in the teaching and learning of mathematics for each and every learner? BOLD mathematics leadership and coaching is recognized as one of the most powerful ways to build teacher capacity and increase student learning outcomes.  

To meet the vision of all students learning mathematics at high levels, understanding the framework for leadership and leading strong mathematics coaching programs is key.  

Join us virtually to:

  • EMPOWER mathematics leaders and teachers using the guiding principles and four foundational elements of the Framework for Leadership in Mathematics Education
  • DESIGN a shared vision for mathematics instruction through an equity lens
  • ADVOCATE for high leverage teaching strategies for mathematics including culturally relevant practices
  • MONITOR and learn practices to ensure a system for coaching to build collective efficacy  

NCSM is offering one-day virtual seminars to expand your professional learning network while working side by side using the wealth of materials provided to enhance your leadership. 

  • February 7, 2022 - Bold Mathematics Leaders: Coaching Practices that Promote Equity and Access
  • March 7, 2022 - Bold Mathematics Leaders: Leadership Actions for Culturally Relevant Teaching in Mathematics Education

For additional information about the seminars including agendas and registration fees, click HERE.


To register for one or more of the events, visit HERE.


From  Jenny Novak and Pam Seda, NCSM Professional Learning Directors

New Joint Position Paper from NCSM and TODOS

We are excited about our new joint position paper with TODOS: Mathematics for ALL, Positioning Multilingual Learners for Success in Mathematics. In this paper we prioritize policies and practices that position multilingual learners so that they can access, engage, and thrive in mathematics education. Accomplishing this will require a systemic approach and investments that influence policies and practices. These include professional development, infrastructure, curriculum, family/community engagement, language development, and mathematics teaching, learning and assessment.


You can read the full paper here: Positioning Multilingual Learners for Success in Mathematics.


All NCSM Position Papers can be found HERE. Look out for future learning opportunities!



From Cory Bennett, NCSM Position Paper Editor

NCSM Journal of Mathematics Education Leadership Available ONLINE

The current NCSM Journal of Mathematics Education Leadership is available to all members and can be found HERE. 


The purpose of the NCSM Journal is to advance the mission and vision of NCSM by:

  • Strengthening mathematics education leadership through the dissemination of knowledge related to research, issues, trends, programs, policy, and practice in mathematics education
  • Fostering inquiry into key challenges of mathematics education leadership
  • Raising awareness about key challenges of mathematics education leadership in order to influence research, programs, policy, and practice.

Highlights from this issue of the NCSM Journal include the following articles:

  • Curricular Reform in Schools: Secondary Leaders' Perceptions by Amanda Bauer, Erin Lehmann, Kristine Reed, and Gwendolyn Zimmermann
  • Design and Impact of Flexible, Asynchronous Online Video-Based Mathematics Professional Development by Nanette Seago, Angela Knotts, and Catherine Carroll
  • An Interdisciplinary Coaching Approach to Data-Based Individualization: A Year-Long Partnership Between Mathematics Teachers and Special Education Researchers, by William S. Walker, III

The NCSM Journal is available quarterly with NCSM membership


From Erin Lehmann and Paula Jakopovic, NCSM Journal Co-Editors

Fall 2021 NCSM Inspiration! Available ONLINE

The Fall 2021 NCSM Inspiration! is available to all members and can be found HERE. It is currently available in PDF format.


For non-members, there is a FREE PREVIEW from the Summer 2020 Inspiration! to provide a taste of what kind of articles are included in the quarterly NCSM Inspiration! To access the free preview on the NCSM website, click on the LEADERSHIP RESOURCES tab and the preview will be available on the right side of the menu.


The NCSM Inspiration! is available quarterly with NCSM membership


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

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NCSM...Where Mathematics Leaders

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NCSM is a mathematics education leadership organization that equips and empowers a diverse

education community to engage in leadership that supports, sustains, and inspires high quality 

mathematics teaching and learning every day for each and every learner.






When you become an NCSM member, you join a network of leaders in mathematics education from around the United States, Canada, and abroad, which works to ensure every student in every classroom has access to effective mathematics teachers, relevant curricula, culturally responsive pedagogy, and current technology.








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