Wednesday, August 6, 2008

NBCT's Partner with SVEA Chapters

Last year at about this time, while others were winding up their summer vacations or professional development pursuits or preparing to return to school, 30 national board certified teachers from all around the Commonwealth of Virginia convened at beautiful Mariner’s Landing on Smith Mountain Lake to hear about a new initiative that the VEA was launching. The idea was to pair NBCT’s (National Board Certified Teachers) with SVEA (Student Virginia Education Association) chapters around the state in an effort to (1) beef up the SVEA programs where they already existed and generate interest in starting a program where there wasn’t one; (2) provide students planning to enter education as a career an opportunity to meet accomplished teachers who can tell them what it is “really like” to be a teacher; and (3) provide the kind of pre-service experience of the VEA that will hopefully translate into those students, upon graduation and induction into a school system somewhere, being eager to join the VEA as their primary professional organization.
After a year of varying experiences with very mixed results, about 20 of the original group reconvened today in Richmond in order to debrief and share their different experiences as pioneers in this new venture. Some had experienced great success...others had met with a certain resistance...and a couple had been unable to break through the wall of indifference presented to them; but that had done nothing to spoil the individuals’ energy or their enthusiasm.
This program is just one example of the many opportunities that the VEA routinely provides for members who wish to get involved and contribute to the profession in a meaningful way. For those who are looking for an opportunity to “give back” or to share their expertise, whether they they national board certified or have some other talent to offer, I hope that you will take a look at the VEA as a way to find a vehicle for sharing your many talents. We are, after all, a grassroots organization, and we are only as strong as the individual members who take the time to offer their interest, their energy, and their need to contribute to the good of the whole group. I appreciate these dedicated national board certified teachers who took time out of their busy schedules today in order to come to Richmond to share their stories, and I hope to be able to use this blog for sharing this kind of information in the coming months ahead.