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Ontario Association for Mathematics Education
Ontario Association for Mathematics Education

President's Message - June 2019

David Petro's Final Message

DAVID PETRO


david.petro@oame.on.ca
This being my last column as President means that I guess I should reflect upon the year. Technically it isn’t finished yet (not as I write this or as you read it), but I can say that it has gone by fast. It seems, however, that I’m just getting used to what my role is, and soon I will be done. It’s clear that being the President for just one year doesn’t seem to be enough to effect change. To that end, we have started a new model going forward so that future presidents will serve a term of two years. This means our current President-elect, Paul Alves, will be the last President to serve a one year term. We just finished this year’s elections, and Judy Mendaglio will be the new President-elect, once Paul starts his presidential term in September. You might recognize her name, as she was president two years ago. She will be the first OAME President to serve a two-year term.

Being President has also given me opportunities that I wouldn’t have had in the past. As President-elect, last year, I was sent to the NCTM annual conference to represent OAME. The NCTM annual conference is a massive gathering of thousands of math teachers, and it was interesting to be part of the Delegate Assembly, where various areas of North America had their chance to talk about possible changes within the NCTM. OAME is part of the Canadian Delegation, and I was able to take part in that process both last year and this year.

After attending the NCTM annual conference last year, I applied and was accepted to speak at this year’s annual conference last April in San Diego. What was marvelous to see was that I wasn’t the only Ontario teacher who was speaking. There was a long list (Jessica Bodnar, Cathy Bruce, Tara Flynn, Aleda Klassen, Rhonda Hewer, Ron Lancaster, Petra Le Duc, Matthew Oldridge, Jon Orr, Kyle Pearce, and Sunil Singh - I hope I didn’t miss anyone). We only made up a small portion of the overall sessions, but we definitely were able to treat the conference goers with a healthy dose of Ontario Mathematics. Not only that, but it was clear, you don’t have to go all the way across North America to participate in a great math conference. What we put on here in Ontario is consistently of high quality, and anyone who has been to an OAME annual conference would have no trouble agreeing.

The other thing that has been good about this journey is being part of the OAME Board of Directors again. For years I was the SWOAME chapter representative and took part in the OAME board meetings. However, once I became my local chapter president, someone else was the chapter representative. So it has been nice returning to the board meetings to help the inner workings. Whether it has been the organizational strength of our executive directors Fred and Lynda Ferneyhough, or the way the board members take their roles seriously and are willing to take a stand for what they believe is right-this is exactly the kind of board that we need right now. These are very uncertain times in Ontario education, and you should know that the OAME will always represent the best mathematical interests of students and the teachers who serve them.

The 2019 OAME Leadership Conference will be held on November 1, 2019 at the Pearson Convention Centre in Brampton. The theme of the conference is "Paying Attention to Mathematics Leadership." The day will support teachers and teacher leaders (including administrators) in the different domains that they may be focusing on in the next instructional year. We hope to foster and support a network for leaders as they progress through the instructional year. Confirmed to speak at the time of this submission are Nat Banting, Marian Small, and Doug Duff. More speakers will have been confirmed by the time you read this! We hope to see you there for a great day of learning!

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