NEA: Supporting Future Teachers
What is NEA?
The National Education Association (NEA) is the nation’s leading organization committed to advancing the cause of public education. NEA, with its headquarters in Washington, D.C., proudly claims 3.2 million members who work at every level of education, from preschool to university graduate programs. NEA has affiliates in every state and more than 14,000 local communities nationwide.
At the local level, NEA affiliates offer a variety of services, from conducting professional development workshops on discipline and other issues to bargaining contracts for school district employees.
At the state level, NEA affiliates lobby legislators for the resources schools need, campaign for higher professional standards for the teaching profession, and file legal actions to protect academic freedom and the rights of school employees.
At the national level, NEA lobbies Congress and federal agencies on behalf of its members and public schools. The Association also supports and coordinates innovative projects, works with other education organizations, and assists its affiliates.
How does it work?
NEA members nationwide set Association policy, most notably through an annual Representative Assembly—called the “RA”—held every July. NEA members at the state and local levels elect some 10,000 RA delegates, who, in turn, elect NEA’s top officers; debate issues; and set NEA policy. Between RAs, NEA’s Board of Directors and Executive Committee serve as the top decisionmaking bodies. Staff at the local, state, and national levels carry out policies implemented by the governing bodies.
How can NEA help future teachers?
By joining the NEA Student Program, you join a network of 60,000 students dedicated to improving teacher education and supporting prospective teachers. As a member of the largest preprofessional Association for future educators, you have the chance to meet practicing teachers and fellow Student members at state and national leadership conferences, workshops, and public forums. You also have the opportunity to become a local, state, or national officer or serve as a delegate to NEA’s annual Representative Assembly—roles guaranteed to enrich your teaching and advocacy skills. Student members also serve on the NEA Board of Directors and NEA Resolutions Committee, as well as numerous other committees that cover everything from human rights to legislation and membership.
The Student Program offers SOAR (Student Organizing Assistance Resources) grants to help with on-campus membership recruitment, and CLASS (Community Learning through America’s Schools) grants for community outreach projects. Students can also apply for the Jack Kinnaman Scholarship, which awards funds each year to help Student members pay for college. Members receive information and assistance with student teaching, certification, and professional development as well.
The NEA Student Program provides many opportunities for you to learn, to share, and to socialize with your peers—and with practicing educators. Your membership in the Association is an investment in your education and your future. So what are you waiting for? Join the Student Program today!
Benefits of Membership
As an NEA Student Program member, you’ll receive two publications to help you follow education trends: Tomorrow’s Teachers, published annually, and NEA Today, published five times a year. You’ll find resources, job information, and links to other NEA Student chapters on the program’s Website. You also qualify for $1 million of liability insurance coverage through the NEA Educators Employment Liability Program, which covers you every time you step into a classroom.
Here are some Student Members’ favorite benefits:
- Ten percent off on textbooks through www.barnesandnoble.com
- Need help with Praxis II? Log on to NEA’s online workshop.
- Network with fellow future educators across the country on our Facebook page and NEA Groupsites area.
Plus, you’ll get discounts through the NEA Member Benefits’ Click and Save Program on magazine subscriptions, car insurance rates for you and your parents, and shopping at your favorite stores. Go to www.neamb.com for details.
The NEA Student Program holds its own national leadership and professional development conferences as well. The Student Leadership Conference, which takes place this year on June 27-30, 2011, in Chicago, features information and training sessions, plus a community outreach project. There is also a Fall Connections Conference every November. For more information about attending conferences, contact your state student organizer.
You’ll also receive a $20 dues rebate for each year you spend in the NEA Student Program (up to four years). You can apply to receive your rebate during your first year as a teacher.