Last weekend I had the opportunity to join in the fun at the #Empower17 video booth. I had no idea what to expect. When I sat down to be interviewed one of the first questions I was asked was “what do you think of when you hear ASCD?” A few thoughts came to my mind.
I often think of ASCD as a one-stop shop when it comes to curriculum, instruction, and educational leadership. Being part of ASCD has opened up a world of professional learning for me. It is the first place I go when I have a question. ASCD Inservice is one of my favorite places to browse. I have come to rely on ASCD in meeting my needs as a professional. I can always find what I need through ASCD.
Commitment to the Whole Child –
This is quite possibly one of my favorite aspects of being part of ASCD. I appreciate that ASCD doesn’t just talk the talk when it comes to whole child initiatives. They are the front line. They are advocates for whole child education. It is the essence of who they are as an organization, a driving force for their work. Because my background has been so varied, working in everything from public to private schools and a variety of socio-economic learning environments, I believe I was a whole child educator before I knew what whole child was. Making sure that students are healthy, safe, supported, engaged, and challenged drives much of my work and I feel a definite solidarity in this effort by being part of this organization.
Really what would I do without my ASCD network? They are my team in so many ways, my cheerleaders and sounding boards. Through this network I have grown as an individual and a professional. I know that I can count on many of them when I navigate difficult decisions, need help with a strategy or protocol, or have a question. Together we each achieve more.
When I became an Emerging Leader with ASCD they sent out a survey to all of us in the new class. In it they asked us which initiatives we saw ourselves being a part of. Advocacy was on this list. At the time I wasn’t completely sure what role ASCD played in education advocacy so it was rated lowest on my list. Since then I have learned more about the legislative initiatives of the organization. I have participated more as a citizen around education issues than I ever have in my life because I can count on ASCD to educate me on these issues.
This one may seem pretty obvious and it is woven into the first four reasons I love ASCD, but it deserves to be explicitly explained. If I need a professional development resource for the faculty at my school I go to ASCD first. I can thank an ASCD faculty member for teaching me about Understanding by Design years ago and I still rely on them for a smorgasbord of options for me and the teachers I work with. Online learning, videos, consulting programs, books, magazines, grants, and other programs make ASCD one of the best sources for educator growth.
So…what are you waiting for? Go join ASCD!