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Member Voices: Join Me at SLI, Day on the Hill

I have attended the AACTE State Leaders Institute (SLI) for 6 years and have found it to be one of my best professional development experiences. I hope other state chapter leaders will join me June 3-4 at this year’s SLI, the first of three signature events that make up AACTE’s Washington Week.

Over the course of 2 days at SLI, we’ll have rich opportunities to learn from each other and to discuss legislative issues and advocacy strategies, ways to support the growth and vitality of state chapters, and effective measures to increase our impact on state policy.

Starting last year, the state chapter leaders from the Association of Teacher Educators have also been invited to participate in SLI. In addition, we engage with professional advocates to further our perspectives, skills, and effectiveness in advocacy.

While the focus of SLI is on the work of the profession at the state level, the institute also connects the skills and actions needed at the state level to national-level issues and opportunities in educator preparation—which is excellent preparation for the AACTE Day on the Hill. Following immediately on the heels of SLI and the Holmes Summer Policy Institute, Day on the Hill rounds out AACTE’s Washington Week.

Day on the Hill is another 2-day experience that I encourage everyone to attend! There we’ll prepare for and then head to meetings with our members of Congress and their staff on Capitol Hill. The first day briefs us on federal issues and prepares us to effectively engage with elected officials, share the good work being done in our programs and states, understand how our representatives can support education, and see how both individuals and state chapters can be a resource on policy and legislation. This year, the orientation includes breakout sessions with two tracks: one for those new to Day on the Hill and advocacy, or for those who wish to polish up their advocacy skills, and the other for those with extensive experience in advocacy. I am excited to experience this new format!

In short, SLI and Day on the Hill are two incredible experiences that will empower participants to support and advocate for the value of educator preparation at the state and national levels. Be the change you want to see!

Note: If you register for both the State Leaders Institute and Day on the Hill, you receive a discount. Both events are open to AACTE members and nonmembers alike. See the Washington Week web page for registration details and available discounts.

Also note: The AACTE hotel block has sold out for the night of June 6, but the rest of the block has availability as of this writing. The AACTE pricing ends May 11 and will not be extended, so get your hotel room and register for Washington Week ASAP. (Also, if you try to book with the night of June 6 included, it will tell you that the deal is sold out. If you check out on June 6, you are good to go! Contact Christine Tambini with questions at ctambini@aacte.org.)

Ena Shelley is past president of the Advisory Council of State Representatives and AACTE Board of Directors liaison to the Committee on Government Relations and Advocacy.

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Ena Shelley

Dean and Professor, Butler University