Novmber 2021 NCSM Insider


Message from NCSM President, Paul Gray

Thankfulness and Celebration

November 15, 2021

This year marks the 400th anniversary of what history textbooks describe as the first Thanksgiving in America. Most of us were taught about a harmonious feast celebrated in Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1621 where the Pilgrims and a band of local Indigenous people from the Wampanoag nation gathered to celebrate thankfulness for a bountiful fall harvest. As with most history, there’s always more to the story. A backdrop to that first Thanksgiving included an uneasy tension between the native Wampanoag people and the new arrivals from England as they attempted (history tells us that this attempt was unsuccessful) to learn to coexist with one another. But in order to discern this, one must hear stories from different perspectives. Fortunately, institutions such as the Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum in Provincetown, Massachusetts, are creating spaces to include stories told from the points of view of both European settlers and native Wampanoag people. Doing so allows a fuller picture of our shared histories to emerge.

What we call Thanksgiving in the United States is a season or festival we share with cultures around the world as we take time at the end of the growing season to celebrate a bountiful harvest and give thanks to a higher power for another year of sustenance. Our Canadian friends and family celebrate Thanksgiving in October at the end of their growing season. Both nations have annual traditions of family, friends, and celebration.

In education, we have a growing season of our own as we cultivate the growth of students’ knowledge. November isn’t the end of that growing season but it is a great time to pause and reflect on the wonderful things that are going on around us. Even as we find ourselves neck-deep in one of the most challenging school years we’ve ever experienced, there is much to be thankful for. So as we enter this season of thanksgiving, what are some of the things you’re thankful for? Who are some of the people in your life you’re thankful are sharing this journey with you? Who are some of your colleagues that you’re thankful to work with?

In the book, NCSM Essential Actions: Instructional Leadership in Mathematics Education, we talk about the importance of meaningful celebration as a school ritual. It’s particularly important for us, as mathematics leaders, to remember to celebrate teachers and others we work with for taking risks and stepping outside of their comfort zones. We should also celebrate actions that move us closer toward achieving our shared vision of high-quality, meaningful mathematics teaching and learning. As Bill Barnes and Mona Toncheff said, in their 2016 book Activating the Vision, “celebrating the change you wish to see in others is an important leadership action.”

How appropriate it is that we take time in a season of thanksgiving to celebrate those for whom we are thankful. So when you’re enjoying some well-deserved time off to celebrate American Thanksgiving with family and friends or when you’re simply enjoying the peace and quiet of the season while recharging your teaching batteries, think about your colleagues that make you thankful to work with them. And join me in asking yourself what you can do so that others are thankful for your leadership.

Y’all be careful and we’ll touch base again in the December NCSM Insider.

From Paul Gray, NCSM President (2021-2023)

Nominations Close Today!

Nominations are now open.  Use the Nominations Form to nominate an outstanding candidate. Nominations close November 15th.

2022 Open Positions

  • President Elect
  • Second Vice President
  • Regional Director, Central 1 (Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio)
  • Regional Director, Eastern 1 (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Military AE: APO/FPO, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont)
  • Regional Director, Southern 2 (Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas)

Nominations open each year at the end of the annual meeting close each year on November 15th. Read more about the nominations process 

Candidate Eligibility
Members eligible to be placed in nomination must be in good standing as of November 15th, one year prior to the nominations deadline. If you need to ready yourself for next year’s election: Join or Renew now.

Voter Eligibility
To be eligible to vote, you must be a member in good standing as of January 15th the year voting occurs. If you need to ready yourself for next year’s election: Join or Renew now.

Additional general information about Nominations and the Elections Overview, can be found HERE

From Shelly Jones, NCSM Nominations and Elections Chair

Proposals for the NCSM Conference in Anaheim - September 26-28, 2022 - Close Today!!!

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. 

We invite proposals that focus on the four strands for the 54th Annual NCSM Conference. 


Each regular session should align with one of the following four strands.  


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?

Proposals in this strand focus on visionary ideas, research, and practices that lead us toward equitable structures and systems fostering success for all teachers and students. Powerful learning moments are those that resonate with teachers and students and stand out as important moments in teacher and student learning. 


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

Proposals in this strand showcase how bold leaders advocate for high-quality teaching and learning, design structures for equitable access, empower and nurture a culture of productive professionalism, and monitor actions and results for continuous improvement. 


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

Proposals in this strand focus on the coach’s role in supporting all aspects of the teaching and learning of mathematics. Proposals should identify which of the NCSM essential coaching actions will be addressed that support and empower teachers to increase student learning, create positive student identities, and develop confident users of mathematics.


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? 

Proposals in this strand focus on sharing experiences and actions that can be taken to impact and improve equitable access to high-quality mathematics and implementing instructional strategies through a social justice lens.  

Click HERE to access the Proposal System. The proposal deadline is November 15, 2021.

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!

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.”

2022 Anaheim Conference Proposal Reviewer Sign Up

Are you interested in reviewing proposals for the 54th Annual Conference sessions? NCSM is seeking thoughtful and responsive reviewers to assist the conference committee as they put together a thought-provoking and rewarding 54th conference experience in Anaheim. YOU are the key to the success of this conference. 

Sign up HERE to review conference proposals from December 1-15, 2021. 

From Sharon Rendon, NCSM First Vice-President


Latest NCSM Podcast

Check out the newest NCSM Podcast in the Learning with Leaders: The Bold Mathematics Leadership series. In this month’s podcast, co-hosts, Mona Toncheff, NCSM Past President, and John SanGiovanni, Regional Director, Eastern Region 2 interview Steven Leinwand and Eric Milou.  

In this episode, we talk with Steve and Eric about invigorating high school mathematics. They talk about what it takes to be a game changer as a mathematics leader, where to focus one’s efforts and how to get started. Status quo is unacceptable and it's time to change the game.

New episodes for the Learning with Leaders: The Bold Mathematics Leadershipseries 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

Beyond the Conference 2021 

Take this opportunity to enlarge your network of colleagues who can assist you in building and supporting your local mathematics program and to meet new friends virtually who share your interests and love of mathematics education. Become a part of NCSM, the mathematics leadership organization for educational leaders that provides professional learning opportunities to support and sustain improved student achievement

Beyond the Conference: 2021
October 5, 2021-December 14, 2021 7:00 p.m. EDT

Beyond the Conference 2021 is the first ever opportunity to engage and network with your colleagues virtually after the conference to continue and deepen your mathematics leadership strategies and practices. You will have access to the on-demand sessions from the NCSM virtual celebration, as well as other pre-recorded sessions. The special bonus is, Beyond the Conference 2021 will include weekly live sessions during the 90-day viewing window to interact with highlighted speakers and your peers. NCSM prides itself on creating opportunities for mathematics leaders to connect with other leaders, and reflect on their current reality, in order to make intentional leadership actions to improve student learning for all. You will have the opportunity to ask questions and grapple with current mathematics leadership issues with other leaders on next steps for your BOLD math leadership journey.

For more information about this unique experience, including the schedule and line-up of the speakers and their sessions, visit the Beyond the Conference tab. 

Register HERE for Beyond the Conference 2021. 


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. 

The current issue contains articles for:

  • Bold Mathematics Leadership: Reflections On and Ideas for Leading During These Critical Times
    • What's Your Legacy by Mona Toncheff
    • On the Shoulders of Giants by Paul Gray
    • Supporting Ambitious Teaching in the Mathematics Classroom by Dr. Tina Moore
  • Board Members at Work:
    • Beginning a New School Year Following the Pandemic Challenges by NCSM Regional Directors
  • Empower Mathematics Leaders: Connect, Learn, and Honor
    • NCSM's 2021 Annual Conference - Atlanta, Georgia
    • Recognizing Our Members: NCSM's Ross Taylor/Glenn Gilbert National Leadership Awardee - Jonathan Wray
    • NCSM Affiliate: Bold Leaders Tackle the Challenges

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

Of Interest to Our Members 


Call for Manuscripts for Investigations in Mathematic Learning

Investigations in Mathematics Learning is publishing a special issue on mathematics specialists and mathematics teacher leaders. Additional information can found on the Call for Manuscripts and on the website.

Please consider submitting a proposal to this special issue by November 30, 2021. Authors should submit proposals to the editors of the special issue at[email protected]. 

Notification of a proposal acceptance will be made by December 30, 2021 with full articles due February 28, 2022. Please feel free to share this call for manuscripts with others you believe would be interested.

From Guest Editors, Courtney Baker, Margret Hjalmarson, and Skip Fennell

The NCSM INSIDER is published monthly.

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Go To Learn 

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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