When I was approached by my local president about joining the Member Organizing Team, I was less than enthused. I took the Leadership Competencies and ranked low for organizing and thought I’d be the last person to join this team. I was wrong. I love and value the importance of engaging members, especially in local issues.
As a team, we were tasked to engage in conversations with members about problems they’ve seen or any they may have. I was intimidated by trying to figure out how in the world I was going to do that; the big one being, would teachers be interested in joining me via Zoom to talk during their busy schedules? I was pleasantly surprised when I had two focus groups and a combined total of eight members meet with me.
Within our conversations, we discussed the divide within our district; affluent schools versus low-income, as well as an upcoming change in president for our local association. In the Provo Education Association (PEA), we will have a change in president. Multiple members brought up the uncertainty of having a president who works for the district office, rather than being a classroom teacher. My thought: why aren’t teachers stepping up? How can I help encourage members to be more involved?
If PEA leadership helps educators understand the importance of member involvement, we’ll see an increase in participation as well as growth in membership because more educators will be given the opportunity to feel heard and welcomed within PEA. This year has brought on a lot of challenges and it’s my goal to help push for unity and collaboration among educators in my local community.