MTRS 2012‎ > ‎

Speaker Proposal Guidelines

Guidelines for Preparing Your Speaker Proposal

The California Mathematics Project Supporting Teachers to Increase Retention (CMP STIR) is funded by the California Post-secondary Education Commission Improving Teacher Quality grant to the California Mathematics Project (CMP). The Mathematics Teacher Retention Symposium, sponsored by CMP STIR, is guided by three documents: MTRS Problem Statement, MTRS Guiding Principles, and MTRS Guiding Questions.  Speakers need to connect their presentations to issues related to mathematics teacher retention, possibly responding to some of the questions posed in the MTRS Problem Statement. Based upon research and CMP STIR experiences, five strands were identified as critical areas of emphasis for mathematics teacher retention. Thus the 2012 MTRS will focus on the following strands:

  • Mathematics Content & Pedagogy as a foundation for teacher success.
  • Models of Support for incoming mathematics teachers.
  • Communities of Practice that continue to support teachers as professionals in their careers.
  • Teacher Leadership opportunities that enable teachers to feel ownership over their roles.
  • Research into the challenges of mathematics teacher retention.
  • Policy and its impact on the ability to recruit and keep quality mathematics teachers

The MTRS Guiding Principles provide the frame for what we believe contributes to increased mathematics teacher retention. We anticipate presenters to be supportive of these principles.

When submitting your proposal, you will be asked to select one of the above as a primary strand. Focus questions for the strands are listed in the MTRS Guiding Questions. Presenters are asked to respond to these questions in their presentations.

MTRS Problem Statement

A fundamental goal of CMP STIR is to increase the retention of teachers of mathematics in the profession and within the school. The symposium will include presentations that highlight specific data defining the major issues relating to retention, some of which are addressed by the prompts below. This list is not necessarily complete.
  • Is the familiar estimate that half the teachers leave the profession during their first five years of teaching accurate today?
  • What are the corresponding attrition data for mathematics teachers?
  • Is there significant correlation between teacher attrition and school demographics?
  • What monetary costs to the public are associated with teacher attrition?
  • What are the costs in terms of students’ achievement and school performance?
  • Has there been any success in identifying, independent of school district, which new teachers are most likely to leave the profession during their first five years of teaching? Has this been tracked down to the pre-service level?
  • Teachers leave the profession for many different reasons; is there information available that statistically summarizes these reasons?
  • Where do Mathematics teachers go when they leave the profession?
  • For movers, what type of schools do they leave, and what type of schools do they move to?
  • Are there specific characteristics of schools that help retain teachers?
  • Has the recent economic contraction resulted in less teachers leaving the profession, and, if so, to what extent?
  • Can more careful recruitment strategies at the pre-service level help with lowering the turnover rates?
  • Can Professional Development help with lowering the turnover rates? And what type of Professional Development is more efficient? How do we quantify this? What other type of support is efficient?
  • What role does Alternative Certification play in the issue of teacher turnover and retention? Has this been quantified too?

MTRS Guiding Principles

Introductory statement: ALL Students, regardless of skin color, low SES, gender, ethnic, religious, or cultural affiliation, must be provided equitable access to high quality and cognitively demanding mathematics.
  • Teachers must have a deep knowledge of mathematics content and pedagogy in order to provide all students with equal opportunities to learn a balanced mathematics program that actively engages them in high level cognitively demanding tasks: i.e., a balance of procedural fluency, productive disposition, conceptual understanding, strategic competence, and adaptive reasoning-in ways that will prepare them for further study or work.
  • Teachers need a variety of forms of support from exemplary mathematics teachers, administrators, and others to facilitate their growth and development.
  • Teachers grow and thrive when they are able to participate in long-term, meaningful collaboration in a mathematics community of practice.
  • Offering opportunities for teachers to develop as leaders of mathematics provides incentives for them to stay in the profession.
  • Work with teachers should be informed by current and relevant research on teacher retention and on mathematics teaching and learning conducted using both quantitative and qualitative methods.                                                   
  • National, state, and local policy should be based on current research on teaching and learning mathematics, and that structures need to be in place to keep teachers informed about these policies.

MTRS Guiding Questions

Mathematics Content and Pedagogy
  • What aspects of mathematics content and pedagogical content knowledge contribute to teacher retention?
  • What models of professional development contribute to the increase of mathematics content knowledge and/or pedagogical content knowledge of teachers?
  • What models of professional development contribute to the increase the cognitive level of mathematics presented to students?
  • What models of professional development increase teachers’ ability to teach for understanding as articulated in the Standards for Mathematical Practice in the Common Core State Standards?

Models of Support
  • What models of support are particularly effective for new teachers? Why are they effective?
  • Are there models of support that are more effective for teachers in urban schools? In rural schools? In schools with minority majority populations? What makes them more effective?
  • How do we encourage school site and district administrators to support their new teachers?
  • What role does support play in the development of new teachers?
  • What challenges do teachers face when supported by internal vs. external programs?

Communities of Practice
  • How do we build communities of practice both at the school level and at the local/regional level?
  • Do communities of practice emerge as a by-product of professional development or are they purposefully created? Are the communities sustained regardless of how they are developed?
  • How do we sustain communities of practice when project funding ends?
  • What purpose and value do communities of practice bring to mathematics teachers?

Teacher Leadership
  • What teacher leadership roles increase teachers’ desires to stay in teaching?
  • In what way does teacher leadership increase teachers’ desire to stay in teaching?
  • What challenges do teacher leaders face?
  • How do you create teacher leaders that focus on eliminating the learning gap?
  • How do we create teacher leaders that set high expectations of ALL students and ALL teachers?
  • How do we increase the number of teachers of color in leadership positions?

  • What factors do research support that contribute to mathematics teacher retention?
  • What has been the impact of professional development programs that target mathematics teacher retention?
  • What research highlights the factors that contribute to the challenges of mathematics teacher retention?
  • What changes do mathematics teachers make in the classroom over time as a result of professional development that targets teacher retention?

  • What school or district policies need to be in place to increase the retention of mathematics teachers?
  • What are barriers to developing policies that support mathematics teacher retention?
  • What effective school and/or district policies provide the type of support teachers need to stay in teaching?
  • How might we develop policies that support and build understanding of the value of professional learning?