The evening began with introductions by this year's Chapter President, Chris Stewart, followed by an inspiring address by Dr. Marian Small, with networking between educators for the remainder of the evening. If you were unable to take part in this event, the introductory address (and slideshow) and highlights from Dr. Small's address are included in the remainder of this post.
President's Welcome Address & Slideshow
*Highlights from Dr. Small
Key Messages for Math Educators
Dr. Small also shared her perspectives on how educators might best navigate tensions associated with political unrest in Education. Essentially, leading in ways that promote conversation about the key issues is how we'll move forward to better meeting students' needs. Speaking clearly, acting respectfully, and being enlightened (educating oneself) are a few criteria for successful conversations with various shareholders in Math Education. To clarify one of these issues--"Back-to-Basics"--Dr. Small reminded the audience that students are performing well on knowledge-related items on provincial testing; where students are falling down is in relation to thinking and application problems. What this means is that we first need to distinguish and understand the differences between knowledge questions and those that promote student thinking. The latter type of question can result in deepened student understanding while helping students build the types of skills critical for employment and citizenship in today's world.
*NOTE: The highlights presented are not directly quoted; rather, they paraphrase the key aspects of Dr. Small's message to attendees.
Connecting to Our Guiding Principles
During Chris' address to attendees, he mentioned that every decision made on behalf of Membership is done through the lens of the Chapter's Guiding Principles. Below are links to examples of how events, like the Fall Social, demonstrate our commitment to supporting our Membership and the greater, Math Community.
Seeking Alignment to Our Strategic Priorities
Welcome to our official launch of The Ottawa Zone for Mathematics Educators (O34ME) website and blog!
On behalf of the 2019/20 O34ME (Ottawa Zone for Mathematics Education, Ottawa Chapter of OAME (Ontario Association of Mathematics Educators)) Executive & Council, I'd like to start by introducing the members of this year's Executive. I am both privileged and honored to be working alongside such an enthusiastic, committed and dynamic group of educators in serving Mathematics Educators in the Greater Ottawa Region.
Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with each of the members before continuing with more details about the NEW O34ME here.
Your 2019/20 Executive
Chris Stewart, OCT
Perspectives & Aspirations:
-Each professional grows by navigating tensions across different contexts in their careers. In turn, reflection opens up opportunities for learning.
-Continuous growth through negotiating tensions is done in practice with: support; the courage to ask for support, and developing the mindset to grow in the face of challenges.
-Current areas of interest and aspiration include supporting educators' collaborative inquiries into Thinking Classrooms and Culturally-Responsive and Relevant Pedagogy.
Karyn Hepburn, OCT
Perspectives & Aspirations:
-I believe in giving students many chances to show their learning in math and to use the classroom environment and the outdoors as a way to encourage students to see the math around them.
-I'm Interested in improving my assessment practices in mathematics--valuing process as well as product.
Tony Alexander, OCT
-My current goal is to continue to learn as much as I can about Mathematics Education: participating in seminars, talking to other teachers, and learning everything about the amazing online tools being used in classrooms today!
Gregory Taylor, OCT
Chelsea Cleveland, OCT
-Fostering success by preparing and modeling inquiry and navigational skills to build self- confidence in knowing what to do, when you don’t know what to do
Jimmy Pai, OCT
Perspectives & Aspirations:
-It is imperative for Mathematics Education to be about people. In other words, re-humanizing Mathematics is of paramount importance so that we can uplift students who have been oppressed throughout their circumstances and experiences, and open doors for students to be a part of the beauty and utility of mathematics - paradox of the mess and precision, of chaos and order.
-An aspiration: To listen hermeneutically, at least once, to all that I encounter
The Road Ahead: Key Messages for Membership
In the Spring of 2019, your Executive and several Council Members met to consider observations and examine feedback from our events, local professional learning, as well as provincial initiatives and OAME objectives. As a result of their collaboration, they recognized that in order to further grow and engage the Membership in relevant and rigorous professional learning, establishing new learning partnerships with other Chapters, as well as other groups--Mathematics Education and other Education-related groups--will be required. These relationships and any subsequent strategic planning would need to be framed through a series of Guiding Principles. Below, you'll find the Chapter's current Mission Statement, Vision and a set of Strategic Priorities to help guide their leadership with Membership over the coming years as a re-branded OAME Chapter: The Ottawa Zone (Ottawa Zone; O3) for (4) Mathematics Educators (ME)--O34ME. This name aligns much more closely to these Principles--e.g., part of the Mission is to inspire our members to loving Mathematics.
Alongside these principles, strategic planning for the next few years of service to the Greater Ottawa Region has been started. Below, you'll see a draft of the plan's overview.
Further to these principles, In Essential Features of Effective Networks in Education, Rincon-Gallardo and Fullan (2016), explain that "...Effective networks can develop the power to turn educational systems into self-evolving, learning organizations." This raises a number of important, guiding questions to be asking alongside the listed principles--questions that your Council we will be re-visiting over time in service of our Membership.
For 2019/20, several concrete actions have already been taken to provide our members with robust, professional learning experiences--take, for instance, a Fall Social featuring Marian Small. More details on this event, taking place on Sep 26/19, will be made available through Twitter and Facebook, this website and email to Members. If you either attended or heard of the 2018/19 Fall Social, you'll certainly want to attend this one! We're not only building on the success of last year's event, but the feedback attendees kindly provided has taken a central role in the Chapter's planning. When you register, reach out to a colleague and invite them to attend with you.
At the provincial level, Members can expect additional details for the Fall OAME Leadership Conference (Nov 1, Brampton, ON; preview) to be made available before the Summer Break. Administrators, Coaches/Consultants, and Teacher-leaders are highly encouraged to attend. A panel of incredible speakers has been planned: you won't want to miss it!!
Turning our attention back to the drafted principles (table, above)--principles that will guide O34ME to living out its Mission--will be further developed (Fall 2019) with anticipated success criteria. These criteria will be co-constructed and refined through Councilʼs internal professional learning, monitoring, and strategic planning.
On behalf of the 2019/20 O34ME Council, I'd like to wish you all the best as you wrap up this year with your students and colleagues. Have a wonderful Summer.
Chris Stewart, OCT
O34ME 2019/20 President
O34ME - Blog
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The views expressed or implied on this website, unless otherwise noted, should not be interpreted as official positions of OAME and/or its affiliates and O34ME.