I joined the K-8 math community remotely. I washed my hands, set up my home office for maximum productivity, and reactivated my Twitter account. Over the pursuing months, I found math memes, online professional development communities, and the most wonderful friends—many of whom I’ve now been able to meet in person thanks to the unmatched efforts from the California Mathematics Council events team and volunteers.
The California Mathematics Council (CMC) South Conference in Palm Springs is ‘the place to be’ for math educators and math teams looking to sharpen their craft. This year, our Southern California community responded with a heightened responsibility to address equity for all students and support for math coaches wearing multiple superhero capes.
In Chris Shore’s CMC South pre-conference opening address, he shared the need for community and to continue investing in the talents of our educators and students. Even though the conference was operating at about 50% capacity, Chris noted that the pre-conference sessions aimed at teachers on special assignment (TOSAs) and math coach leads had higher/equal attendance than in previous years. It set the tone for the conference that, though smaller in numbers, attendees were eager to make the most of their first conference experience back in person.
I launched my CMC South Conference experience in the ‘Amplifying Diverse Voices through the Proposed Draft CA Math Framework’ session organized by the Riverside County Office and San Bernardino County of Superintendents math teams. It provided an opportunity to discuss big ideas with other attendees to get a greater understanding of the California framework and pose suggestions in connection with the support needed in policy, data, and professional development in order to implement these big ideas.
After some deliberation of concurrent sessions, I concluded my pre-conference experience just one room over at a ‘Coaching the Coaches’ session hosted by Murrietta’s Math TOSA team. It was an open forum to share challenges and best practices structured around the need for mentors by coaches and how we can best support change and present challenges through service leadership.
With the pre-conference complete, it was time to make my conference debut at the exhibit hall with my new colleague: Inflatable JiJi! Standing eight feet tall, inflatable JiJi was a huge hit at the conference with many friends and colleagues stopping by to take a selfie.
The California Mathematics Council South Conference in Palm Springs was a great way to kick off a return to in-person conferences in Southern California, and it would not have been possible without all the CMC staff and volunteers that went above and beyond to ensure it was a safe experience for all attendees. As a first time attendee and new member to CMC South, I can say without hesitation, I’ll certainly be back next year!
We’re headed to CMC North next! Join us in Pacific Grove, California, December 3-5. Say hello at booth #235 and hear Vice President of Content Creation Nigel Nisbet present ‘The Neuroscience of Deeper Learning’ on December 4 at 8am PST.
Make sure to keep an eye on our Twitter account for announcements on where our ST Math team will be all year. JiJi may be coming to a city near you!