5 Elementary Education Professional Associations
- National Education Association
- American Federation of Teachers
- Computer-Using Educators
- National Association for Gifted Children
- Association for Experiential Education
Elementary school is an exciting time for both students and teachers. Students experience a great deal of growth in every are, and teachers enjoy witnessing and contributing to the process. Many teachers find that belonging to professional organizations is a great way to stay connected to others in the field and maintain a knowledge base full of all the current trends, information, and tools in childhood development and education. Here are five valuable professional organizations for elementary school teachers.
The National Education Association (NEA) is America’s largest professional organization. It is geared towards enhancing the success of the public education system. The NEA offers information about current policy and activism issues and opportunities for teacher participation. It provides ideas of curriculum development and funding resources with which to implement them. Members enjoy collaborating with each other and engaging in professional development events by attending the many regional and national meetings and conferences hosted by the NEA each year.
Teachers who particularly enjoy the policy and activism activities of the NEA will benefit from membership in the American Federation of Teachers (AFT). The AFT prides itself on identifying educational issues at both community and federal levels, educating both professionals and the general public about these problems, and then raising the funds and government awareness needed to address them. They team up with other community organizations that intersect with schools to ensure that students experience holistic wellbeing. They also provide teachers with resources for addressing issues such as healthcare and retirement.
Technology is an ever-increasing presence in the elementary school presence and the daily lives of both students and teachers. It is crucial that classrooms are equipped with the latest educational technologies and that teachers have the appropriate knowledge with which to most effectively teach and utilize them. Computer-Using Educators is a non-profit organization dedicated to assisting teachers and schools with building up the supplies and skill sets needed for success. They sponsor a wide variety of advocacy events, conferences, and training opportunities across the country and throughout the year.
Many elementary school teachers are surprised to learn that some of the students who need the most extra support are their gifted students. Gifted children easily become bored and frustrated in mainstream classrooms, and the outcomes can be disastrous. They suffer academic, behavioral, and social problems when not properly challenged academically yet treated like children their age. This is a difficult balance to master, and many schools are not able to provide the resources that teachers need. This is where the National Association for Gifted Children comes in to help. They offer cutting edge information and a wide variety of events.
In addition to auditory and visual learning, experiential learning is an important aspect of elementary school. Students need to be able to get up close and personal with the curriculum in order to fully absorb the information, apply their new skills, and enjoy the process. Experiential learning is often neglected in classrooms because it requires a unique combination of skills and tools. The Association for Experiential Education was created to provide teachers with everything they need to bring experiential learning to life in their classrooms.
Related Resource: 50 Most Affordable Master’s in Elementary Education Degrees Online
It is no small wonder why elementary school teachers are often referred to as local heroes. Second to parents, they spend the most time with children and have the greatest influence over shaping their lives. Belonging to professional organizations such as these five opens doors for teachers to access tools and skills, collaborate and network with others in the field, and enjoy greater success for themselves and their students.