AMTA was formed to keep Modeling Instruction moving forward after the early rounds of grant sources for teacher training were no longer available. I quickly became a life member the summer it was formed to help build seed funds for AMTA because I had seen the positive impact it had on my students’ learning. It is a joy to see that goal being realized over the years, in spite of various challenges and growing pains. I have given into this community over the last 23 years through leading workshops, curriculum development, and presenting modeling through conferences and webinars, and am now at a place where I have more freedom to give through board leadership.
One of the strengths of modeling instruction is in its ability to bring out the voices of all students in the classroom. Workshop leaders in recent years have increased efforts to make equity for all students a stronger part of the conversation among modeling teachers. Similarly, AMTA’s effectiveness in the science education community will depend on bringing out the voices of teachers across subjects, grade levels, and the rich personal diversity of this community. Some areas important to reaching this goal include where and how workshops are hosted and promoted to be sure teachers of all backgrounds are being included, addressing access issues for teachers with fewer district resources or family constraints (online workshops have already helped with this concern), and intentionally seeking out teacher leaders from less visible groups in AMTA so all teachers see themselves as they enter the AMTA community. Being able to address these goals depends, of course, on our financial viability, which has been a key part of the conversation since AMTA’s inception. Continuing to build a membership base and identifying partnerships and grants will need to be part of our way forward. I look forward to the opportunity to serve the AMTA community as a board member.