Resolution-Participate in NJASA Activities and Programs
The New Year brings the opportunity to assess where we have been and where we are headed. We do this as individuals as we establish resolutions for the twelve months ahead, hoping to improve in specific ways. The most popular resolutions focus on personal improvement in health and mind: eat healthier, exercise and lose weight, quit smoking, learn something new, be less stressed, spend more time with family and travel to new places, for example.
As I sat down to write this column, I thought about a recent conversation with a member who told me about a response he received from a colleague when asked to join him at an NJASA activity. His response essentially was: “I’m pretty busy, what’s in it for me?” Certainly, that is an understandable and almost predictable response as we all navigate our challenging and daily work responsibilities.
My conversations during NJASA committee meetings, professional development programs and meetings around the state certainly reinforce members’ reaction to the many stresses coming from within and outside the school system. Often, it is to prioritize the many demands they face and to place those viewed not at the core of the work, including personal growth and professional relationships, at the lower end of the spectrum.
Coming together is
keeping together is
working together is
My discussion with members frequently focuses on an important word in the name of our organization: Association. Association can be defined as a group of people who have voluntarily joined together because they have similar interests or goals. As chief education officers, system leaders and professionals, we choose to associate because we believe it is important to have one statewide voice as educational leaders in pursuing our mission as the unifying professional association of school leaders in order to ensure a superior statewide system of education by influencing and effecting educational policy, regulations and legislation; and by maximizing the capacity and effectiveness of school leaders through professional development programs and support services.
Individual participation in and support for our Association contribute to the benefits available to all members which, in turn, support the achievement of the mission and goals of individual districts where NJASA members work. Professional development programs and resources, conferences, information on legislative proposals and administration policies, participation in state task forces and NJDOE advisory groups, legal support, collaboration with other state educational associations, and influence on policies and legislation are among those benefits.
I encourage you to resolve this year to be an active member of your state and county associations, attend NJASA programs and conferences, and volunteer as a committee member on the county and state levels. I know that you appreciate the value of communication with colleagues, developing camaraderie and sharing experiences and information. Make it a priority for your work throughout the year. You will be rejuvenated by your association with colleagues at the county and state levels and gain perspectives different than your own which can impact your success. When we work together we gain recognition for being a member of a high quality organization serving leaders who impact the lives of New Jersey children.