Growing Chapter Leaders at SLI

It’s all about people! Being at AACTE’s State Leaders Institute (SLI) on Day one was a true networking opportunity. Starting the day off with a chance to get to know state chapter leaders and AACTE staff members was a highlight of the day. Spending time learning about the leaders who represent educator preparation programs throughout the country is important to all of us.

The moment I walked into SLI 2019, the AACTE staff welcomed us with open arms and immediately provided us with opportunities to network. Regional teams were able to meet and talk about communication initiatives for future monthly conference calls. In addition, we shared ideas on what each chapter provided. The discussion was so robust that we ended up creating a matrix for AACTE to collect pertinent information on each of our chapters so we all have access to the data. Another example of networking was when one chapter leader from Illinois shared their legislative regional team idea where members advocate for education preparation programs at the statehouse.  

During another session, AACTE Director of Government Relations Ward Cummings shared pertinent “State of the State” information on the political landscape and trends in state policy on educator preparation. One statement that stood out to me was, “Politics is at the root of all policymaking.” He shared several PowerPoint slides indicating results of gubernatorial elections and key upcoming elections in Kentucky, Louisiana, and Mississippi. In addition, he shared top education legislative priorities that included school finance, workforce development and career/ technical education, teacher issues in quality, recruiting, retaining, and better compensation for teachers, early learning, postsecondary affordability, and school safety.  

Michael Maher, chair of ACSR, facilitated the ACSR Business meeting that included great information on AACTE updating the website and State Leaders Manual. As a continued networking opportunity, participants discussed critical topics for our future work including teacher shortage, accreditation, and data.

Indiana, along with Arizona, Iowa, and New Jersey shared highlights of our State Chapter Support Grant. Shawn Sriver, IACTE past president, Jill Shedd, executive director, and myself as chapter president shared how we will use our funds to host a two-day Summit on Innovations in Teacher Education, November 7-8, 2019, at Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana, featuring Michael Horn of Future U podcasts and Lori Desautels of Educational Neuroscience.

We ended the day by discussing ways to build a chapter leadership pipeline. Through regional discussions, all of us left the session with many ideas on how to actively cultivate our state’s next generation of educator preparation leaders.

All in all, the benefits of attending SLI with chapter leaders from all over the country will certainly be helpful to me as the Indiana IACTE president. What a wonderful way to learn about successful chapter initiatives and spend time with like-minded leaders who have a passion for educator preparation. Again, it’s all about people!

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