Thank You!

By Matthew Larson posted 04-25-2018 00:00


Thank you! It has been a great honor and a humbling experience to serve as president of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. As I said in my first president’s message, NCTM is its members—a community of professionals committed to ensuring that each and every student learns significant mathematics in equitable environments. I believe that statement more firmly today than ever before. I have had the wonderful opportunity, while attending NCTM conferences and Affiliate meetings, to meet many of you. Every time I do, I come away energized and encouraged for the future of our profession after witnessing not only your positive energy and commitment to your students and to the profession but also your willingness to engage, challenge, and grow.

There are many groups of individuals I need and want to thank. They include the selfless volunteers who made significant personal and professional sacrifices to serve their colleagues by working on NCTM committees and task forces; the engaged members who gave me critical and frequent feedback, both privately and publicly; and the dedicated and mission-driven NCTM staff. 

Members of the Board of Directors also volunteer their time—and that time commitment is significant. The Board members I served with have all been amazing individuals whose work was guided by the sincere desire to serve teachers of mathematics and their students while confronting difficult issues and making tough decisions to ensure the long-term viability of NCTM. I especially want to thank outgoing Board members Nadine Bezuk, John SanGiovanni, Denise Spangler, and Marilyn Strutchens. I could not have served with a better group of Board members, and I am honored to consider them colleagues and friends.

The last two years have been a period of significant change for NCTM. The Board, in conjunction with volunteers and staff, has accomplished much:

  • The Board adopted a new and more focused strategic framework to guide the Council’s work into a second century.
  • The Board expanded its work on critical access and equity issues to include building students’ mathematical identity and increasing their sense of agency as well as teaching mathematics for social justice.
  • The Board made intentional efforts to reach out and include members of previously disenfranchised communities on its committees and task forces.
  • NCTM launched a new membership model that increases member value while reducing the cost of membership, particularly for new members
  • NCTM launched MyNCTM, a community space where you can engage and network with other members—those you know and those who share your interests, challenges, and passions—and where you can access resources from your peers as well as share your own valuable insights and materials.
  • NCTM expanded its advocacy work to address issues of concern to teachers of mathematics and the well-being of students in the classroom.
  • NCTM began the process of transforming the three practitioner journals to increase the content provided to teachers and to make that content more nimble and relevant to mathematics teachers in the 21st century.
  • NCTM published Catalyzing Change in High School Mathematics: Initiating Critical Conversations in response to the needs of the field. The work initiated by Catalyzing Change will continue for the foreseeable future.
  • The Board realigned strategic priorities, resources, and expenses to help ensure the viability of NCTM for a second century, reducing the operating loss by approximately 70 percent from its peak.
  • The Board enacted changes to resolve internal leadership issues at NCTM Headquarters.

Not everyone agreed with every decision the Board made, but members should know that the Board always considers input and feedback from you when making difficult decisions. That ongoing relationship will continue to be critical to the future success of NCTM.

As the only organization that produces seminal publications that advance the profession,  publishes peer-reviewed practitioner journals and the leading peer-reviewed research journal,  hosts premier professional learning experiences, and provides a voice for students and teachers of mathematics alike through advocacy in mathematics education NCTM is essential to mathematics education.  In a world in which discourse and decisions are all too often evidence-free and driven by opinion and belief, NCTM is desperately needed.

I hope that each of you will do what you can to promote and grow NCTM on behalf of the community of mathematics educators. I also sincerely hope that the community will provide the next NCTM President, Robert Q. Berry III, the support that you have shown me.  I look forward to his leadership in continuing the growth and development of NCTM.

I end where I began: Thank you for being a member of the NCTM community, and thank you for affording me the opportunity to serve you. I wish you and the Council nothing but the best in the future.

1 comment



05-11-2018 15:11

Thank you, Matt for your leadership and all you and the Board have done to move the organization forward.  Hope to see you in Nebraska more frequently now!  :)