SESSION 2A (Featured Session, Policy)“Poverty, Politics, and Power: Factors Impacting the Retention of Secondary Teachers of Mathematics, and How to Fight Back!”

– Jackie Goldberg, Assemblymember Emeritus, State of California 45th District

This Presentation will explore the current “politics” of education policy in Sacramento and Washington, DC. and how these affect classroom practice and teacher satisfaction. It will also include an examination of why no one in power appears to want to even mention the fact that an increasing number of school children are living in poverty, and even in desparate poverty, and the effect such poverty is having on student academic achievement in mathematics. With class sizes growing, and continuous teacher lay-offs, scarce resources are also having an effect on teacher “satisfaction.” Finally, everyone will engage in the question of “WHAT TO DO” to counteract all these negative influences on teacher retention.About the Featured Speaker

SESSION 2B (Featured Session, Communities of Practice): Communities of Practice: A Catalyst for Sustaining High Quality Mathematics Teachers in High Need Schools” 

– Christine Thomas, Associate Professor of Mathematics Education, Georgia State University

From 2005 through 2009, the leadership team for the Robert Noyce Urban Mathematics Educator Program, a National Science Foundation funded project at Georgia State University, prepared and placed 35 secondary mathematics teachers in high need schools.  Thirty-three of these teachers have remained and are recognized among the most effective teachers in their schools.  Over the duration of the project, including the induction years and beyond, the teachers have sustained attendance in the professional learning community that evolved from a face-to-face to an online community. In this presentation we will explore the influence of communities of practice on teacher retention.

About the Featured Speaker

SESSION 2C (Mathematics Content & Pedagogy): Beginning Mathematics Teachers Thrive in the Profession While Earning an Advanced Degree” 

– Panel Moderator: P. Michael Lutz, Associate Professor, California State University, Bakersfield

Panelists: Tsoguik Broutian, Mathematics Teacher, North High School
Melissa Mays, Mathematics Teacher, Kern High School District
Elizabeth Deckard, Mathematics Teacher, Kern High School District
Jessica Barr, Mathematics Teacher, Kern High School District

Beginning teachers in the CSU Bakersfield STIR project maintained a high retention rate while going through the Masters program in mathematics teaching. Representatives of the group will describe the support they received in the program that enhanced their confidence and competence including the collegiality and growth in content and pedagogical expertise.

SESSION 2D (Models of Support): “An Investigation of the Influence of Instructional Coaching on Retention of Mathematics Teachers 

– Dorothy Lewis-Grace, Instructional Mathematics Coach, Columbia High School

According to research by the National Center for Education Statistics (2007), nearly twenty percent of U.S. teachers leave the profession after their first year of teaching and almost thirty percent leave after the fourth year of teaching. These percentages are even greater for mathematics teachers. This session will discusss the findings from an ethnographic case study that investigated and examined the factors that influenced second-career mathematics teachers to remain in the teaching profession and their experiences with instructional coaching.

SESSION 2E (Research): Supporting Teachers to Increase Retention: Research Based Site Stories of Successes and Challenges” 

– Panel Moderator: Barbara J. Pence, Lead Researcher, CMP STIR/Professor of Mathematics, San Jose State University

Panelists: Susan Haren, Research Associate, CSU Sacramento Mathematics Project STIR
Joseph Jesunathadas, Research Associate, Inland Counties Mathematics Project STIR
Sarah Fink, Research Associate, UCLA Mathematics Project STIR
Nancy Terman, Director/Research Associate, Tri-County Mathematics Project STIR

This panel offers an opportunity to examine the role that professional development and support play in the work and retention of mathematics teachers. Retention focuses on new teachers, especially those in urban area and mathematics teachers in hard-to-hire settings. Discussions concentrate on site-specific studies of interventions through professional development and support models. Efforts to deepen our understanding of the complex and multifaceted picture of why teachers leave and why they stay, and how efforts to retain teachers impact their work in the classroom and their decisions to stay or leave are developed through the sharing of site-specific stories.

SESSION 2F (Teacher Leadership): How Providing Leadership Opportunities to New Mathematics Teachers Establishes Identity and Promotes Teacher Retention” 

– Panel Moderator: Christopher Yakes, Associate Professor, California State University, Chico/Director, Northstate STIR

Panelists: Kari Wurch-Goldenson, Mathematics Teacher, Happy Valley Elementary School
Heidi Pittman, Mathematics Teacher, Merrill F. West High School

In this session, we will explore the impact of providing leadership opportunities on new mathematics teachers’ attitudes towards their work. The results of the Northstate Supporting Teachers to Improve Retention (NSTIR) project show that supporting teachers in taking on leadership roles helps them establish an identity as more than simply a “mathematics teacher.” The session will feature personal accounts of participants’ experiences in leadership and will suggest ways to provide such opportunities through professional development.