Listening, Learning, and Living in Community
"Deep listening is an act of surrender. We risk being changed by what we hear…. What is this story demanding of me? What will I do now that I know this?"
― Valarie Kaur, See No Stranger: A Memoir and Manifesto of Revolutionary Love
How does this quote connect with you? It speaks to me in many ways. Most recently, it reminds me of the AMTE Virtual Conference and the opportunities to listen to and learn from others. The connections and conversations that occurred across the virtual platform were renewing and uplifting. The ability to be open, vulnerable, and share our work within a community that listens, respects, and embraces the desire to grow and learn from each other is a powerful thing. I was challenged and inspired in multiple ways as a professional and as a person. What will I do with what I have heard and learned? How will I be changed and how will I work for change?
Each member of AMTE brings perspectives and experiences that benefit the collective and improve mathematics teacher education for all. During the opening session and throughout the conference, I was reminded of the power we have as a community and the responsibility this entails. Multiple sessions stressed the importance of reaching beyond our current AMTE community to work in partnership by learning and growing with others. If you are still trying to process all that was shared at the AMTE Virtual Conference, several key sessions are available to members on the website. In addition, I encourage you to reach out to speakers and attendees who impacted you and continue the conversations beyond the conference.
AMTE works year-round to listen, learn, and support Mathematics Teacher Educators. Podcasts, Get the Facts Out, the Member Bulletin Board, our publication venues, and social media conversations are just some examples of ways to stay engaged and connected. These provide opportunities to listen and learn, and are also spaces for you to share. Webinars, the STaR program, and affiliates engage members in deep listening and learning together in community. The volunteer form provides an opportunity to participate and give back to our volunteer-run organization. The structure provides voice and power to each division, committee, and volunteer.
As president-elect, I experienced deep listening (and a lot of learning). I want to thank our Immediate Past President Michael Steele for his leadership during a turbulent year in which we offered our first virtual conference and created long-term goals for AMTE. I also want to thank Executive Director Shari Stockero for her leadership, dedication, and countless hours spent supporting AMTE. I have learned so much from Shari and Mike, and I look forward to this continued collaboration. Our new Board, which welcomes Farshid Safi, will continue to work on the organization’s long-term goals and refine them based on our deep listening to members.
As I begin my two-year term as president, I want to practice deep listening and advocate for Mathematics Teacher Education, our mission, the Standards for Preparing Teachers of Mathematics, and those we serve. If you have suggestions or ideas, please reach out to me or anyone on the Board. Have you been impacted by something you listened to lately? Has it changed you? Might it be something you would share with me (or others) to help us generate positive changes in mathematics teacher education? I am excited to listen, learn, problem-solve, and imagine over the next two years. The strength of AMTE is in the collective. I look forward to working with and learning from each of you as we continue to move forward and strive to achieve the organization's mission together.