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Why Board and Standing Committee Service is Important, Valuable, Gratifying, and Fun

How often have you said (or thought to yourself), “I can’t possibly take on any more responsibilities!  I can barely keep my head above water now?” 

As I write to encourage you to serve on the AACTE Board of Directors and standing committees, I’m acutely aware   that concerns about time and commitments exist for each of you. Given that we all struggle to balance our professional and personal lives, why should we commit time for service to AACTE?  As someone who manages to serve on the Board of Directors—and who is now the chair—let me offer a few reasons why I find service to AACTE worth the investment of time and talent.

  1. It is important. Our institutions prepare students for the most important profession in the world. Yet, we are regularly reminded that policy makers and political leaders, the members of our communities, and sometimes even our colleagues in the academy don’t fully value the breadth or impact of our work. AACTE, through our collective voice, is both a vehicle and a resource for highlighting the value and importance of high-quality, university-based educator preparation. Being actively engaged in the work of AACTE has provide me with opportunities to influence the national conversation about educator preparation, helped me be better aware of developments beyond my institution, and provided tools and materials by which to more effectively communicate to my own regional and state audiences.

  1. It is valuable. Through volunteer service to AACTE, I have built a network of professional relationships that have supported me throughout my career. This has occurred both formally, through events and meetings of AACTE, but just as often, informally. When I need help with a thorny problem, I often “phone an AACTE friend” for advice. Interacting with the AACTE staff and my board colleagues, I also learn of issues faced across institutions and have direct access to the ideas and expertise of colleagues across the country. 
  2. It is gratifying. Whether it is helping the organization plan for its future, interacting with the talented Holmes Scholars, or educating Congressional staff on educator preparation during Washington Week, I always find my experiences at AACTE personally and professionally gratifying.  Each of us is likely a member of multiple professional organizations. From my experience, none of these has provided me as much satisfaction or feeling of accomplishment as has AACTE.
  3. It is fun. Yes, you work hard when you serve on the AACTE Board and standing committees, but we also find plenty of time for fun. Whether it’s dinner out after a meeting, a good laugh with colleagues who have become friends, or drinks or coffee with new acquaintances through the work with AACTE, I always enjoy myself when I am engaged in my AACTE service.

I hope I have convinced you to click on one of the links below and to nominate yourself or a colleague for the AACTE Board of Directors or a standing committee. You can find more information at aacte.org.  The deadline to nominate is Friday, May 10.

Start your application  for the Board of Directors.

Start your application for a standing committee.

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Kim Metcalf

University of Nevada, Las Vegas