Communication Tools

President's Blog
Mona Toncheff
November 2019

Communication is an important tool as a mathematics leader. I remember spending extra time crafting emails when I first started communicating with 225+ mathematics teachers. As a district mathematics director, the messages had to be clear and concise. I would spend time reading and rereading each email for tone, grammar, and meaning to make sure the purpose of the communication was understood by the reader. The more my messages were clear and concise and included the “why” behind our work, the better it was for the teachers and leaders I served. 

NCSM is striving to be clear and concise with our communication. The communication team has been hard a work clarifying the purpose of our communication tools and determining how to best connect and share resources and latest research with the mathematics leadership community. Currently, we use our quarterly newsletter, monthly eNews and weekly emails to share up-to-date resources and events within the mathematics leadership community. 

To clarify our quarterly and monthly communication tools, we have updated the name of each to better represent its purpose. The monthly eNews you are reading is now titled the NCSM Insider.  The NCSM Newsletter that comes out quarterly is now called Inspiration! and will be shared in December. Below is a description of the purpose of each communication tool and shares why you will want to dig into each one.   

NCSM Insider
Monthly eNews
– Monthly updates from the President
– Monthly updates of NCSM events
– Latest news from partner and affiliate associations
– Celebrations and items worthy of sharing 

Inspiration! Bold Mathematics Leadership in Education
Quarterly Newsletter
-A column from the President, Past President or President Elect’.
-Thought-provoking articles from well-known mathematics leaders.
-Explorations of current issues in mathematics education.
-Timely, in-depth, research-informed information, resources, best practices, etc. for leaders in mathematics education

Thank you to Joe May (St. Paul, MN) and Becky Angus (Chicago, IL) for their creativity in naming our monthly and quarterly communications. They both received a complimentary NCSM membership for their winning names – Congratulations!

On behalf of our communications team, we look forward to continuing our efforts aimed at providing the best resources for mathematics leaders to ensure better learning for every student that you have come to expect from NCSM. Have a fantastic month as we prepare for the end of 2019! And don’t forget to look for the first Inspiration! next month.

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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