[Source: Eric Swedlund, Arizona Daily Star] — More than 300 local math teachers were treated to a conference, lunch and heartfelt thanks Saturday, part of a UA effort to increase the number of high-quality math teachers in middle and high schools. Since it can’t raise salaries across the board, the Center of Recruitment and Retention of Mathematics Teachers created the show of appreciation to focus its efforts on making sure every school has such teachers.
Understaffing of math teachers in secondary schools is “the single most important problem with our kids who take math,” said Fred Stevenson, a University of Arizona math professor who founded the center five years ago. This was the center’s third Mathematics Educator Appreciation Day and the event has blossomed to include more than 325 area teachers, plus 20 instructors from Pima Community College and 16 professors from the UA. “It isn’t going to raise anybody’s salary, but I’ve found that while competence is vital, teaching is an extremely human endeavor,” Stevenson said. “These people need to be appreciated. When they are appreciated, they really get psyched and they get passionate about it.” [Note: To read the full article, click here.]