For many years I've been looking out and in, high and low to find mentors, leaders, innovators, coaches, and exemplars in education. I have connected to many, many extraordinary educators, educational resources, and events to build my practice. Now in the sunset years of my career, I want to choose a few organizations to connect with, organizations that will help me to do the best work possible in the last decade of my teaching career. Who will I choose?
Massachusetts Teachers Association (MTA) and National Education Association (NEA)
I will continue to be a member of the Massachusetts Teachers Association and National Education Association. The MTA is working around the clock to find ways to help educators lead their profession and learn. Currently the MTAs leadership is leading with educators in mind, and they are working to maintain public schools that put students, their families, and educators first rather than the directives/priorities of a few.
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE)
I find that DESE does a lot to positively elevate what we can do in schools in Massachusetts. I want to continue to work with this group to keep my practice aligned to state mandates, innovation, and ideas. I also want to continue my work with this group so that I have a voice with regard to state initiatives and events. To stay on top of the state's work in education means that my work with students continues to meet the state's expectations for good teaching and learning.
Massachusetts' education innovators Kat Johnson and Maria Fenwick have started The Teacher Collaborative, an agency in Massachusetts aimed at supporting educators with regard to networking and doing their best work. This is a great resource to use as you build new ideas and collaboration to better your practice.
National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS)
During my tenure, I want to stay abreast of what NBPTS is doing with regard to research and promoting a positive education for every child. This group represents dedicated master teachers throughout the country and those educators represent excellence with regard to teaching/learning efforts. This is a great group to stay connected to, and a great group to lead your professional work.
ECET2 and EDChat
These are two online and offline organizations that help me to stay connected to new ideas and new funding too.
Association of Teachers of Mathematics in Massachusetts (ATMIM)
I want to build my local affiliation with math educators across the state since that's my main area of teaching so I've renewed our building membership to this group and hope to go to their spring conference as one way to connect more to Massachusetts teachers of mathematics.
This conference is an incredible source of awesome ideas and excellent teaching and learning each year. Though I cannot attend every year, I will try to make it when I can.
Local Museums, Historic Sites, Nature Preserves, and other Educational Institutions
There are many, many terrific educational organizations nearby that offer tremendous opportunity for learning and teaching. I want to continue to take advantage of what these organizations offer.
I'm sure I'll add to this list in days to come, but right now, I'll commit to staying in touch with these organizations via their websites, twitter chats, email, and special events to promote the work I can do with and for students.