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D.C. Is the Place to Be for ‘Invigorating’ State Leaders Institute

D.C. is the place to be this June for the AACTE State Leaders Institute! If you are involved in leading a state chapter, I hope you will join me June 4-5 for this great advocacy event as part of the AACTE Washington Week.

Let me begin by saying this: Way to go, teacher education colleagues! Speaking and acting as one, we were able to advocate recently for the repeal of the federal regulations for teacher preparation programs. We need to continue the forward momentum. Our work is not done. It has never been more imperative to bring a strong unified voice to both the national and state discussion. That is why I encourage you to participate in the State Leaders Institute (SLI) during AACTE’s Washington Week.

It is invigorating to hear about what is happening in our nation’s capital from folks who are right in the heart of the action. Truly amazing is to follow that up with a strategic planning session for taking that knowledge and influencing policy and practice in your own state. And even more remarkable is to hear how state organizations are working to collaborate more effectively and leverage that combined strength in their state legislatures. This is just a small piece of what I achieved at last year’s SLI.

This year, I am most looking forward to the networking and capacity-building opportunities at SLI. This means picking the brains of your teacher education peers in other states and bringing that back to your own state to advance your state organization, plan effective conferences, host a state Day on the Hill, and speak with a more coherent voice. It’s working as one to bring change – advocacy in action.

Last year, I reacquainted myself with old friends and made many more new ones, all of whom share my passion for the education of highly effective teachers. This year’s SLI promises to be just as engaging and relevant. We will learn more about Every Student Succeeds Act implementation and what our role can be. We will hear from colleagues across the nation regarding tools for collaboration and advocacy. And I look forward to seeing all of my friends this year, including those new ones I have yet to meet! I hope you will join me.

Judy Beck is dean of the School of Education at the University of South Carolina Aiken, executive director of the South Carolina chapter of the Association of Teacher Educators (ATE), and an ATE board member.

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Judy Beck

University of South Carolina Aiken