PO Box 881
218 W. Main Street
Gardiner, MT 59030
Patricia (Pat) Baltzley
Mathematics Educator and Consultant
This is an exciting opportunity for me to serve as the Leadership Seminar Director for NCSM. My own mathematics education values have been shaped by the professional learning I have experienced through NCSM, through national and regional conferences, leadership academies, and other opportunities for learning about and honing my craft. As we move into an era of blended learning, we hope to explore opportunities that might exist to connect not only in person but also via other venues. The long-term success of NCSM to provide professional learning for its members depends on reaching as many members as possible. We hope that as we plan for our upcoming leadership seminars, we can create a variety of opportunities for all members. I am looking forward to this exciting time of creating and planning for the next genre of professional learning seminars.
I have been a mathematics educator since 1976 and have attended NCTM conferences since about 1985. As a high school teacher attending the teacher conference, I always wondered who those other people were who seemed to be at the same hotels as me, but at the end of a conference, and also seemed to be mathematics educators. I got my chance to find out who they were when I became a secondary mathematics supervisor in Baltimore County. My first NCSM conference was in 1996 and I have rarely missed one! (There was that one time I broke out in hives from head to toe and was in the emergency room the day before NCSM conference in Las Vegas!) The NCSM conference provides the opportunity for MY professional learning and growth and for the networking with colleagues in similar situations to my own. I have many "conference" friends now whom I see annually!
When I became director of Mathematics PreK-12 in Baltimore County in 2004, I made sure that all 15 of the mathematics educators in my office had the opportunity to attend the NCSM conference - this meant battling for funds by convincing my administration that this was such a worthwhile professional learning and provides the basis of strategic planning for mathematics in the district. My team always had dinner on the Sunday, the day before the conference opened, and established our priorities, sort of a "divide and conquer" so we could soak in as much as possible as a team. When we crossed paths throughout the conference, we excitedly shared what we had seen and what sparks of ideas people were creating to take back to our district to implement. That is what NCSM means to me: sparking ideas to take our own mathematics programs in our districts or in our roles to the next level for our students. The professional learning and networking has been a phenomenal resource for me over the years and provides a source of creativity for any path I pursue in mathematics education. I have been grateful for these conferences and the professional learnings I have gleaned.