Name: Stefanie D. Livers
Title: Assistant Professor
Institution: Missouri State University
It would be an honor to serve TODOS in the capacity of director. My entire teaching career has involved being an advocate for students and equitable teaching practices. My reason for becoming a teacher was to change education. As a classroom teacher for nine years in Kentucky, there were many instances where I fought to meet the needs of my students; this often times meant identifying biased structures and practices and working to change them to benefit students. I worked to include my students’ families and community into the teaching and learning. When I left the classroom, I became an instructional coach for a district with one of the highest English Learner populations. I provided support and professional development for teachers and worked with students and families to build relationships. Much of this work included meeting the needs of our diverse student population.
Staying connected to teachers and classrooms is a priority. I worked to achieve National Board Certification during my fourth year as a teacher, and recertified during my doctoral work. In 2020, I will work to recertify again to maintain this certification and commitment to elementary teaching. In addition, I have provided professional development, resources, and support to schools and teachers since my third year of teaching through consulting, grant work, and service. I believe this work with teachers is vital to my teaching of undergraduate and graduate students and my scholarship.
As I developed a research agenda, a vision of equity, access, and advocacy have moved to the forefront. My first publication was about language supports for English Learners. Other publications have followed regarding teacher candidates’ perspectives on the teaching and learning for English Learners, using diverse children’s literature to provide meaningful contexts, and others regarding vocabulary support. For three years, I have been part of a self-study with another mathematics educator regarding our instructional practices for preparing teacher candidates with a vision for equity and advocacy. This work has yielded a publication in TODOS’ Teaching for Equity and Excellence in Mathematics (TEEM) journal where we identified core propositions for both teachers and teacher candidates where we identified characteristics for a critical perspective.
I view service to my communities as important and an honor. Service provides unique opportunities to grow as a professional. I currently serve as the Elementary Program Coordinator at Missouri State University. Leadership roles that have helped prepare me for this role include membership on national committees: Awards and Scholarship Committee for the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators (AMTE) 2014-2017 and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Advisory Group for Educational Materials Committee from 2013-2016. I recently was a program committee member for NCTM Regional Conference in Salt Lake City. Additionally, being president for two state organizations also was good preparation. I served as President for West Alabama Teachers of Mathematics from 2013-2014, and Alabama Mathematics Teacher Educators Association from 2014-2016.
TODOS is a remarkable network of mathematics educators that has been influential in my growth as scholar and teacher. My vision for TODOS is to continue to work to advance equitable learning experiences for students. We can do this by growing the organization and continuing to work to develop innovative resources that support family engagement and community connections around mathematics. TODOS resources can connect to K-12 teaching by becoming a bridge to families and students with asset-based instructional practices. I will bring passion, dedication, and innovative thinking to this role with a focus on heightening high-quality and equitable mathematics education for each and every student.