Serving as a member of a board of education for a public school is not an elementary volunteer post. Most parents would prefer to volunteer serving food and beverages at sporting events, instead of spending time making decisions which other parents and taxpayers may or may not agree upon. Most sports fans happily thank the volunteers as they devour their delicious slices of fresh baked pie, but may not thank the board of education members, whose votes will impact taxes in order to improve the public school’s sports programs. Luckily, The Connecticut Association of Boards of Education, a non-profit organization here in Connecticut provides leadership development for both educators and invested parent groups such as governance boards or the PTA.
This past summer I took part in a Leadership Development Workshop for The Connecticut Reading Association, an affiliate of the International Reading Association. Marcie Craig Post, IRA’s Executive Director and Rayann Mitchell, IRA’s Leadership Development Associate conducted the workshop at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain. These experienced leaders provided members of our organization with professional development that active members of any charitable group would find extremely informative. Ms. Mitchell explained IRA’s philosophy of an inverted pyramid hierarchy. In spite of their great responsibilities, both women placed themselves at the bottom point of the inverted pyramid. Ms. Post and Ms. Mitchell both tirelessly advise the boards of directors of reading associations across the globe, who in turn help the educators who ultimately serve the many students and parents in their respective communities.
Do you have what it takes to serve on the board of a non-profit organization or a public school board? Most reputable organizations will provide you with the leadership skills that you need to be a professional and effective volunteer. Robert Rader, the executive director of CABE, also shares the inverted pyramid philosophy of leadership in non-profits, and wants to encourage parents to learn more about boards of education. I am looking forward to attending the 2012 CABE conference at The Mystic Marriot on November 16th and 17th. Hard-working mom of three teenagers, CABE support staff member, Melissa Dickinson recently co-presented a webinar for school support staff which can be viewed at www.cabe.org. Melissa and I look forward to participating in our first ever CABE annual convention. I will be able to learn about issues that not only impact my own experience as an educator, but issues faced by educators and students all across the country.