Submitted by Anne Jones and Apryl Beck, Alpine Education Association and UEA Member Organizers.
Anne Jones here, first to share my experience in the Member Organizers Program. I have been teaching in the Alpine District for nine years teaching 5th grade at Highland Elementary. During the program, I learned that connecting with other teachers helps them realize they are not alone. We were able to bring lunch to teachers and were able to meet incredible people. One experience I had was with a school psychologist who felt they were not heard. We were able to talk, and we let her know that with this year’s negotiation, we have subcommittees to help represent her group.
I (Apryl Beck) have been an educator for 14 years in Alpine District. I have taught 3rd grade for four years and 1st grade for eight years. I have been a reading interventionist at Hidden Hollow Elementary for the last two years. In working closely through the program, I have connected with my coworkers and other teachers in our district in answering their questions and clarifying the misconceptions about the association. I was able to attend several luncheons where I connected with members as well as potential members in schools. I love talking to teachers!
The program included applying for a small grant after developing a plan on how to engage colleagues in our district. We started by talking with new hires in Alpine at the district’s new hire luncheon. Our focus for the grant was school site visits. The goal was to visit 50 schools during the 2022 – 2023 school year. At this point, we have visited 47 schools with three left to go!
This allowed us to visit with members as well as potential members. During the lunch hour, we could visit one-on-one and answer and clarify any questions regarding the association that anyone had. Several potential members joined during this hour and a few days later. Since January of this year, 31 new members have joined our fabulous association! Not only did the grant help with the site visits, but it also helped provide lunch for the teachers and substitutes for educators who attended during their day. Our involvement in the Member Organizers program has benefited AEA by providing one-on-one conversations with our members and potential members.