Professional Educational Organizations – Join One (or more) Today!

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Professional Educational Organizations – Join One (or more) Today!

You cannot join everything, but as a professional educator, you need to be connected. The list below includes links to a lengthy list of professional educational associations.  They include nearly every subject matter and educational specialty and they strongly influence educational practice and policy at the state and national level.

Benefits of Joining a Professional Teaching Organization

Exactly what is in it for you? Well, membership has benefits.  First of all, nearly all of these organizations publish journals, newsletters, and books describing current research and the latest best practices. It is the ideal place to go to find out what is happening and to keep up-to-date on the important issues and trends in your field.  Most professional educational organizations also sponsor education conventions and conferences.  Attending one of these state or national events will provide the perfect opportunity for professional development, often with CEUs (Continuing Education Units), not to mention incredible networking opportunities for members and attendees. You will also find that they are an excellent resource for grant resources and employment.

Not only is there the advantage of earning potential educational credits or additional certifications (that could expand your teaching degree even more) there is the benefit of knowledge sharing. While benefits will vary from group to group, many times you can reach out to the wide range network of members to try and get answers to questions and more. You will also need to determine what group will best benefit you. Do you join a group related to your current job or degree level or look to join ones that focus on your next desired step. Try to understand whether you focus on groups that look at educational material analysis for teachers or administrative policies for entire schools.

Varying Costs of Educational Organization Membership

While membership dues range from $25 – $250 per year, many of these organizations offer reduced membership fees for full-time students.  Throughout my career I have maintained membership in at least three different educational organizations (one state, one national and one content-area) and found that the investment has always multiplied itself many times over.

You should also understand what kind of perks you might get with that expense before making a decision to join. There might be some that are simply informational sources for particular teaching roles while others might offer free conferences, webinars, and exclusive access to their partners. Once you’ve thoroughly vetted those perks, you might feel more comfortable with the monthly or annual member ship cost.

Things To Do After You Join An Organization

Once you have decided which organizations seem to be a good fit and you decide to join, don’t forget to include the name of each profession organizations on your resume’.  It can help you stand out in interviews and is invaluable when applying for grants and fellowships. The ability to add these additional memberships to a resume can help you stand out more when competing for jobs against candidates that have similar degrees completed as you.

Also, don’t forget to go to LinkedIn and other online resume websites to update your profile. More educational institutions are looking at online resumes as opposed to printed versions every day. You should also find out if the organization you joined has a LinkedIn group or forum that allows members to discuss industry related information and news.

Remember that as you go through this list, we’ve tried to break each organization out into its respective category. You will need to decide whether you join a group that relates to your current teaching position or find one that you can join that relates to your desired future position. Just be aware that some of these organizations will have requirements around their membership which could include degree level, title of current position, and more.

General Education

Adult Education

Early Childhood Education

Foreign Language

Health / PE / Dance

Literacy (English Language Arts)

Literacy (Math)

Literacy (The Arts)

Literacy (English as a Second Language)

Science

Social Studies

Special Education/Gifted

Technology

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