Professional Organizations for K-12 Leaders
- SHAPE America
Leadership in K-12 education is important. It provides a strong example to the students, and supports networking and professional development among colleagues and subordinates. This, in turn, generates a strong, positive learning environment, whereby the greatest number of students benefit from the broadest variety of teaching strategies. To reinforce this, many fantastic professional organizations for K-12 leaders exist. These organizations provide the same networking and coordination benefits to their members that their members provide to their own teams. This helps them to bring fresh, cutting-edge ideas to the forefront.
The Association for Childhood Education International is a worldwide organization celebrating individuals who demonstrate innovative leadership strategy in early childhood education. They encourage educators to think outside the box, and provide resources and strategies developed by some of the most celebrated teachers and instructors across the globe. ACEI is one of the organizations which leads the way in developing a cooperative, progressive educational network worldwide, to encourage the unbounded following of pure scientific inquiry and appreciation for the arts.
The Association for Middle-Level Education is a leading international professional association for K-12 educators. With many organizations focused on the early half of the spectrum, or exclusively on the high school years, AMLE's efforts are targeted at students aged 10-15 years. Middle-education is a somewhat neglected area in the American educational system, and AMLE presents publications, services and events which aim to help promote a a renewed focus on the early to mid-teenage years through making education fun, meaningful and relevant. By closing the gap in student engagement between early childhood and high school education, AMLE's members seek to further bolster engagement during those later years, which has been trending downward.
The Consortium for School Networking fosteres the continuing development of childhood education through the advancement of technology. A widely respected and well-established organization, CoSN provides educational leaders in grades K-12 with the networking opportunities and advocacy tools they need to bring new technological capabilities to bear, such as interactive learning and digital multimedia, making these and other highly advanced teaching aids available in the classroom.
The National Association of Secondary School Principals focuses on school administrators across America, many of whom find themselves faced with increasing personal responsibility in a changing educational landscape. NASSP provides its members with networking opportunities and cutting-edge learning and administrative strategies, many of which are drawn from a diverse background of institutions, assuring that there are tools available to suit every individual situation. There is recognition for members' achievements, creating a sense of professional satisfaction while ensuring that other principals can see what was done for themselves -- and evaluate whether or not similar practices might work in their schools.
Formerly AAPHERD, SHAPE America is an organization for educational leadership in health and wellness, physical education, dance, and other physical aspects of K-12 education. The organization is dedicated to combating rising trends of childhood obesity, and it provides its members with resources designed to encourage healthy habits, make physical education fun, and demonstrate the connection between physical health and increased academic performance. SHAPE America believes its goals are vital to K-12 leaders across the country, and is taking steps to increase awareness of their importance.
Further Information on K-12 Leadership
In an increasingly dynamic educational landscape, with as quickly as public education models are now changing, professional organizations serve to bring cutting-edge ideas from the drawing board to the classroom. Networking with fellow k-12 leaders can accomplish this much more quickly than any other medium, and access to online resources can further empower educators to put new ideas into practice.
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