For quite some time, I have been working on an idea. I have been calling it, for lack of a better name, The American Society of Independent School Educators (ASISE).
The idea is to create a society designed to bring together the collective wisdom of independent school educators (and others who share a set of basic principles about education) in an effort to improve education for all students. The resulting effect being the advancement of independent school education through the work of the school’s most valuable assets - the people who deliver the school’s programs and are responsible for the school’s operations.
While many current groups are designed to support independent school educators through relationships with member schools (i.e. state and/or regional accrediting associations), my idea is a society designed to support independent schools through the networking and development of independent school educators. To strengthen schools by strengthening educators.
The basic principles from which I have worked on this idea are:
- A community whose foundation is built upon honesty and trust.
- It values the diversity that accompanies an inclusive network of professionals.
- Its members are mission-driven, student-focused, and growth-oriented.
- Members conduct themselves in a manner that values excellence through effort, building relationships, and making a positive impact on the field of education.
As a society committed to the advancement of independent school educators, it would adhere to and promote the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) Principles of Good Practice among its members.
My vision for the work done through this society includes:
- Facilitating mentoring relationships among members
- Providing a platform for independent school educators to network
- Coordinating on-site and/or virtual professional development opportunities
- Encouraging, guiding, and publishing action research performed by ASISE members
- Having an active presence at relevant educational conferences
- Hosting our own conferences, “unconferences”, “edcamps”, and meet-ups
I have worked out a few additional details, but I am at the point where I want to get some feedback from other educators. I am also looking for people who may be interested in helping me thrash this idea around some and move it towards delivery.
I believe that an organized society of independent school educators whose mission is the support and development of fellow educators has great potential to make a positive impact on the work done by their schools. If you are interested in this idea and would like to discuss it in more detail, you can fill out this simple form, email me: firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment on this post.
All feedback is welcomed, so please be as critical or complimentary as you like.