The Importance of Connections

President's Blog
Mona Toncheff
October 2019

This past weekend, the NCSM Board met for their annual Fall board meeting in Scottsdale, Arizona.  In addition to the beautiful weather for the weekend, it was nice to connect in person with the other board members.  We were quite productive and I am looking forward to the next few months as we roll out new resources for members.

An added benefit to a face-to-face board meeting is a feeling of connectiveness.  Now, don’t get me wrong, in the age of technology, I love that I can pick up my cell phone or ask Siri to help me send a text to any one of the board members.  However, I always find face-to-face communication and collaboration more inspirational. 

In her article, The Science of When You Need In-Person Communication, Laura Vanderkam shares that personal interaction is one of the best ways to build trust, a needed component of effective collaboration.  The ability to engage with a peer and observe verbal and non-verbal expressions helps build a sense-of-belonging and enthusiasm for the work.  As I was meeting with a board team this weekend spearheading intiatives, one of the board members stated her role on the team was titled,  “Develop Enthusiasm.” I loved the title as we need team members whose entire focus is to build energy for the work. 

In the hustle and bustle of your mathematics leadership journey, where and when do you intentionally find connections to rejuvenate and recharge? How do you connect with other leaders to build collective capacity? Who in your sphere of influence is your enthusiasm developer? Here are some upcoming opportunities to engage with other mathematics leaders. 

I hope to see you at one of the upcoming events to connect, collaborate, and develop enthusiasm for our work of leading mathematics. 

The Joy of Volunteering

President's Blog
Mona Toncheff
September 2019

NCSM is an organization made up of volunteers who work tirelessly to ensure that each and every learner experiences mathematics in a meaningful way.  A 2017 study titled, “Doing Good is Good for You” reported on the positive effects of volunteering.  Volunteers reported that donating their time and service:

  • Made them feel physically healthier 
  • Improved their mood
  • Lowered stress level
  • Improved self-esteem

One of my favorite quotes from the summary is, “Volunteering is a relationship that brings people together and can profoundly change the way we think about ourselves and others.”  I couldn’t agree more!  NCSM came into my life when I was a new leader and I am who I am today because of the relationships that have been developed through volunteering for the organization. 

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