Anna E. McEwan
University of Montevallo
One of the benefits of state chapter affiliation with AACTE is the opportunity it provides, through the Advisory Council of State Representatives (ACSR), to network with those from other states who share the work of preparing educators. Our collaboration is facilitated through participation in regional conference calls, AACTE Annual Meetings, and the State Leaders Institute as well as communications like the monthly State Directions e-newsletter. As we learn how others are responding to federal, state, and local education initiatives, we find opportunities for mutual support and ways to present a united voice.
In 2015, I participated for the first time in AACTE’s State Leaders Institute (SLI). In thinking about what I gained from participation, the phrase that comes to mind again and again is a sense of connection.
Psychological research suggests that those who feel consciously connected with others—or with their environment, or with anything that is larger than themselves—tend to be more physically and mentally healthy than others. Perhaps it’s too lofty to suggest that your participation in SLI will improve your overall well-being, but I can testify to several practical benefits!