We need strong educators. From early childhood education through every level of adult learning, educators guide us forward. But who guides educators? In many cases, education professional groups provide educators with the resources, support, and advocacy they need to be successful. Whether you’re currently an educator or are in the process of earning an education degree, membership in an education professional group can benefit you—and your career.
The specific activities of education professional groups vary from one group to the next, but all exist to help current and future educators. Most groups:
National and regional conferences are a fantastic way for you to meet other education professionals. Additionally, conferences offer talks, panels, and workshops focused on improving education. This combination of networking with continuing education makes conferences quite beneficial—and popular.
Alert You to Internships and Jobs
If you’re currently in an education degree program, you can turn to a professional group during your job search. Most groups provide members with listings of available internships and job openings.
As with professional organizations in other fields, education professional groups establish standards of practice and codes of ethics. These standards and codes help you ensure you’re using proven teaching methods and interacting with students and colleagues in ways that affirm the goals of education.
Provide Continuing Education
Education is a constantly evolving profession. Education professional groups help you stay up to date on the latest ideas and research. Many groups publish journals covering important issues and studies. Many also offer continuing education courses, which can take the form of an online class or in-person class, lecture, or seminar.
Advocate for You
Your professional group is your voice. Most education professional groups stay abreast of educational policies and keep you informed of debates and proposed changes. Many also employ advocates to meet with legislators and other policy-makers to ensure the opinions of members are heard.
There is a wide variety of education professional groups with diverse areas of focus. You should join the ones that fit your own focus as an educator. Some of the largest and most active groups include the following:
General Education Groups
American Federation of Teachers
An affiliate of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), the AFT is a labor union representing 1.6 million teachers. It focuses on public education, policy, and public service.
National Education Association
With 3 million members working in everything from preschool education to university graduate education, the NEA is the nation’s largest professional organization. It is focused on advancing the cause of public education.
Phi Delta Kappa International
PDK is an international professional association committed to providing education researchers and practitioners with learning opportunities, networking, and relevant research.
Field-Specific Education Groups
Association for Educational Communications & Technology
The AECT is an international community of scholars, researchers, and practitioners dedicated to helping professionals become successful, recognized leaders in fields devoted to effective teaching and learning.
American Association for Adult and Continuing Education
The AAACE focuses specifically on providing resources, continuing education, and advocacy for adult educators and their students.
Council for Exceptional Children
The CEC sets the standard for high-quality education for children and youth with exceptionalities. It is known as THE source for information, resources, and professional development for special educators.
National Art Education Association
The NAEA is the leading professional organization for educators in the visual arts. It represents and provides resources for visual arts educators and administrators at all levels.
National Association for the Education of Young Children
The NAEYC promotes high-quality learning for children from birth to 8 years of age. It provides its 70,000 members with wide-ranging professional support.
National Council of Teachers of English
More than 100 years old, the NCTE is focused on improving the teaching and learning of English from elementary school through college. The council provides numerous resources and professional learning opportunities for English educators.
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics
As the world’s largest mathematics education organization, the NCTM is the leading voice of mathematics education. The group works to provide educators the help and resources they need to provide the highest quality of mathematics education.
National Science Teachers Association
The NSTA helps science educators become better teachers and advance their careers from elementary school through college. It’s the largest organization in the world promoting excellence in science education.
Where can I learn more about the education profession?
One of the best ways to learn about the education profession is to enroll in an online education degree program. Online education programs can give you the knowledge you need to start or advance your education career. By earning your education degree online, you can take advantage of the convenience and flexibility offered by online learning. This can save you both time and money, whether you want to earn an MS in Education, a PhD in Education, a Doctor of Education, or any other online education degree.
Combining the right education degree with the right education professional group can help you reach your career goals.
Walden University is an accredited institution offering online education degree programs. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.
Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.