There are many organizations that will shape my future as a mathematics teaching professional. Two of these that have already impacted me recently are the Mathematical Assosciation of America on the national level, and the Michigan Council of Teachers in Mathematics or (MCTM). I have attempted to become a student member of the Mathematical Association of America and have been exploring opportunities through the MCTM.
I do not use Twitter or Instagram and have no plans to soon, but I really enjoy using Facebook and the web to get lots of information about various groups and people that are influential to my field and life. The Facebook page for the MCTM gives a lot of helpful updates about events for professional development like the Math In Action Conference(see linked for my experience) at GVSU! The Mathematical Association of America’s Facebook page was better yet with lots of great talks and helpful communication occurring right on the page! They are celebrating 100 years this year, that is a long time to do math problems.
The drawback to these professional organizations is that joining them costs a fair amount typically. They use this cost to go towards the materials they send you and growing the organizations events and framework. The cost for anyone to be a member of the MCTM is $60 annually. The cost for students to be a part of the Mathematical Association of America is $35 annually and $169 annually after you are out of college. That is expensive to me, but the benefits certainly outweigh the cost! Learning from the best minds in my field is very important to me. The Mathematical Association of America’s (MAA) membership goes a lot further than the MCTM’s which includes some newsletters while the MAA membership comes with 4 magazine subscriptions and a newsletter along with discounts to many conferences and other mathematical magazines and journals.
The MAA has a major conference in January called the AMS-MAA Joint Mathematics Meetings! The conference is the largest mathematics conference in the world. The conference is free to attend other than transportation and housing costs. The MCTM has its 66th annual conference in July is $90 for regular members and $30 for student members to attend. The conference helps ignite teachers’ passion across the state of Michigan.
The most valuable part of these major professional organizations to me is that they provide many opportunities to stay on the cutting edge of mathematics education. I look forward to spending many years as a part of organizations like these. Continuing to stay educated on how I can best meet my students’ needs and inspire them to pursue their passions and persevere throughout school and life!