How We Teach is the Message

Math Specialist as Perseverer


Leading Teachers to Impact Student Learning, Part 4: Math Specialist as Perseverer

This blog post is the fourth (and final!) entry in a series based on a talk I have given at NCSM 2016, AMTNJ 2016, AAMT 2017, and the T3 International Conference 2017 about growing teacher leaders and the many roles that mathematics specialists play in this work. In this post, we explore the idea of Mathematics Specialist as Perseverer and explore the role of perseverance in the work of helping teachers transform into teacher leaders. Refer back to Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 for previous information.

For now, let’s consider one final, but critical, role of math specialists: that of Perseverer.

Teacher change and growth is genuinely difficult and takes time. The good news is that people get better at this hard work over time. But we have to have a slow-cooker perspective in a microwave era. We have to keep doing the good work, the hard work, the necessary work, knowing that growth is never neat, clean, easy, or fast—but it is important. NCSM challenges us in this regard: “…our actions must recognize that change of this magnitude takes time, is often uncomfortable, is rarely easy to accomplish, and cannot be done alone—but these cannot be excuses for delaying taking action” (p. 4).

Thank you all for the work you have done to improve mathematics education and for the work you continue to do. “With ordinary talents and extraordinary perseverance, all things are attainable.” (Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton)

Thank you for helping ordinary teachers—hundreds of ordinary teachers just like me—transform into teacher leaders who are joining us in the difficult but rewarding work of improving mathematics education.

If you would like to continue these conversations regarding supporting teachers as teacher leaders, feel free to reach out to me through Twitter or here on my blog at If you’re interested in learning more about leveraging TI technologies that your schools are currently integrating, continue this conversation with me, connect with the #T3Learns community on Twitter, or reach out to your local Education Technology Consultant for your state. We are honoured to be part of this journey of improving mathematics education for all students.



National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics. (2014). It’s TIME: Themes and imperatives for mathematics education. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree.

Michelle Rinehart

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