Educators may have heard the importance of joining professional organizations–but why?
Professional organizations can seem expensive or maybe even a waste of time to educators who are already busy putting forth their best efforts each day in their own classrooms and within various career paths within the field of education.
However, joining a professional education is an important consideration for educators, especially those who want to continue to learn, grow, and collaborate.
Here are five solid benefits educators can expect to glean from professional organizations:
Networking remains perhaps one of the most obvious reasons educators might join professional organizations, but it is likely the most important reason.
Professional organizations offer the opportunity for educators to mingle with and learn from other educators in their field or even in more diverse fields, which will open unknown possible opportunities for collaboration, lead to new discoveries, and help all educators improve by comparing methods.
As educators know from experience, more minds do have the power to create magical results, and making connections with fellow educators could allow relationships to form that will change education for the better. Imagine the possibilities when two amazing educators meet and exchange ideas. The next major breakthrough could be just one conference away.
Conferences educators attend as part of professional organizations are not only resources to help educators learn new skills, present their own research, and make new connections, but they also provide an opportunity for educators to just be around people who understand their daily struggles, joys, fears, and accomplishments.
Educators lead specific lives helping students succeed, and sometimes surrounding themselves with like-minded individuals adds a much-needed dose of medicine for the educator’s soul.
Professional organizations also allow educators the opportunity to learn about cutting-edge research in education, present their own findings, and gain access to specific research journals they might not have access to otherwise.
The more resources educators have to learn more about their fields, the better they will become. As a result, students all over the world will continue to benefit from the amazing work their educators bring to the classroom and beyond.
Since many professional organizations offer the chance for educators to become members of boards, lead workshops, or take part in other leadership opportunities, these organizations also give educators more chances to both improve and practice their leadership skills.
This means that not only can educators learn from each other to find out how to become better leaders inside and outside of the classroom, but they can also gain more leadership experience by taking on specific roles within the organization itself.
A major perk of professional organizations is the access educators get to grants, fellowships, and awards that simply provide more funding for better teaching methods and other education-related research.
When educators want to experiment with new ways of teaching, take their students on special field trips, or conduct important research in the field of education, they should have the opportunity to do so without using their own funds or having to apply for funding within their specific institution if the money is not available.
Professional organizations often offer a list of different funding opportunities to which educators can apply, all meant to help celebrate educators’ efforts but also give educators the chance to take more risks (and thus see even better rewards in the form of student outcomes).
Overall, educators should consider joining professional organizations to prioritize growth and not only feel as if they are getting by as educators.
Since the field of education is constantly changing, networking with fellow educators and getting access to research, leadership, and extra funding are all important ways to stay relevant within education.
Moreover, educators are usually part of the field of education because of their love for learning. They should have the same chances to keep learning as they give their students.
Professional organizations exist for all kinds of educators in specific areas of research and study, including: the National Education Association (NEA), American Federation of Teachers (AFT), National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS), Kappa Delta Pi (KDP), Phi Delta Kappa (PDK), and Computer-Using Educators (CUE).
At NSHSS, we take pride in celebrating educators as the most important people in scholars’ lives. Without educators, students would not have the resources they need to grow and change the world for the better.
Educators truly are the first step in any important development the world ever sees. They deserve the best professional organizations possible to keep growing and improving and to enjoy much-needed camaraderie with fellow educators.