Welcome Back, Welcome Back, Welcome Back! 

Welcome back to a new school year with the opportunity to craft extraordinary learning adventures for all learners in our buildings!

First, let’s acknowledge the elephant in the room – we’re stepping into what might be one of the most challenging school years we’ve seen. The teacher shortage looms large, our students are grappling with larger-than-ever learning gaps, and it’s safe to say we’re all feeling burnt out. We’re heading into a demanding time with no real pause button. I won’t sugarcoat it; these challenges are on are pressing! 

But here’s the thing – we’re in this together, and together, we’re resilient. We have the strength and the heart to navigate this journey, no matter how bumpy it gets. When I reflect on the moments I’m most proud of in our educational community, it’s when we’ve risen above adversity and joined forces to create something truly magical.

Sure, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for this school year. But what we can infuse into our schools and classrooms are powerful experiences. As math instructional leaders, we have a unique opportunity to shape our schools and classrooms into cultural responsiveness and equity havens. These will be spaces where every math learner, without exception, feels cherished and emboldened to thrive.

And why not us? We are math educators, after all. We thrive on the beautiful complexity of problem-solving. We’re experts at strategizing and thinking on our feet.

Where We Are

Math education in America has evolved, but disparities in access to quality education and achievement gaps still exist. Many students, educators, and families feel disconnected from math, often influenced by stereotypes that label it difficult or irrelevant. I constantly hear how the “new math” makes no sense and is holding children back. It’s our collective responsibility to reshape this narrative and create an environment where every student feels valued and empowered. Is it going to be easy? Hell, no! Is it going to be worth it? Hell, yeah!

Is it going to be easy? Hell, no! Is it going to be worth it? Hell, yeah!

What Do We Do?

This isn’t just about creating a positive school year in our Math Spaces. It’s about putting in motion the small moments that impact the big moments so that we foster a growth mindset that celebrates effort, embraces challenges, and believes in the potential of all learners, beginning with setting the tone.

Here are some simple yet impactful ways we can collaboratively create small moments with huge impact and cultivate equity in math education:


Personal Connections

Take time to connect with your teachers and students on a personal level. Show genuine interest in their stories, backgrounds, and aspirations. These connections lay the foundation for an inclusive community where everyone feels seen and heard.


Culturally Relevant Content

Collaborate with your teachers to infuse math lessons with culturally relevant content. Highlight mathematicians from diverse backgrounds and explore math concepts through the lens of different cultures. This not only makes math relatable but also fosters a sense of belonging.


Regular Check-Ins

Create a culture of open communication. Regularly check in with your teachers to discuss challenges, triumphs, and ideas. Encourage them to do the same with their students. These conversations ensure that everyone’s voices are acknowledged and valued.



Extend your reach beyond the school walls. Engage with parents, guardians, and community members. By involving them in the education process, you foster a network of support that reinforces the importance of math education.


Photo by cottonbro studio: https://www.pexels.com/photo/math-solutions-on-a-white-paper-5185093/

As culturally relevant equity-driven instructional leaders, we hold the torch of change. By shifting mindsets, creating inclusive spaces, and nurturing growth, we can work towards a path that provides equitable math education for every student.

Let’s create a school year filled with inspiration, growth, and a collective commitment to shaping a brighter future.


Elly Blanco-Rowe

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela



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