Folks do not join professional organizations like they used to. Several books have been written on this topic including Sladek’s The End of Membership as We Know It. The author suggests three big reasons why this trend is occurring:
- Technology–social media and the internet now provide the connections and resources that one used to rely on their professional organizations for.
- A shift in demographics–professional organizations tend to be led by baby boomers while the rank and file of the profession are peopled by the Millennial Generation.
The MAMLE Board of Directors, early, vocal supporters of MLTI, certainly recognizes the power of technology in all phases of our lives. We are phasing in this new website that is more interactive and will feature contributors from the field. Our goal for it and our Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/Maine.MAMLE, is to not only provide middle level news, resources, strategies, but also to promote conversations among Maine middle level educators and feature successful, innovative practices from across the state. We are also piloting Pinterest Boards to see if they are useful to middle grades educators. Right now we have two up:
- http://www.pinterest.com/jillspencerinme/door-prizes-at-mamle-conference/ This one is very timely as it lists all of the fabulous door prizes to be given away at our annual conference at Point Lookout.
- http://www.pinterest.com/jillspencerinme/effective-strategies-for-the-middle-level-classroo/ Here is a compilation of links to effective middle level practices that have been shown to help students become learners.
If you have suggestions for the types of resources or posts you would like to see, please leave a comment below.
The second point made by Sladek, shifting demographics, applies to every generation. As people mature in their profession they tend to end up in leadership roles. MAMLE has a history of supporting emerging leadership of younger middle level educators:
- The Annual Conference welcomes with open arms presenters of all ages willing to share successful practices. There are a number of “millennials” presenting at the Annual Conference, October 17-18. You can see the entire program here: http://mainemamle.org/conference/
- The Board encourages younger educators to run for the Board and actively recruits colleagues to get involved either as “Ad Hoc” members of the Board or as contributors to our publications. Do you have a particular interest you would like to help MAMLE pursue? Talk to any Board member at the conference, leave a comment below, or contact our Executive Director, Wally Alexander at email@example.com
A third point that Sladek makes is that now more than ever, people want a return for any financial investment they make. Obviously, a small, volunteer organization like MAMLE is not going to be offering its members glitzy trips to ritzy resorts or free medical insurance. However, long time members have no trouble describing what they see as valuable benefits for belonging to MAMLE. They share their thoughts in the video below.
Are you in middle level education for the long haul? Is this your life’s work? Are you on a continuous quest to improve your skills as an educator? Do you want to be part of something bigger than your own classroom, team, or school? Do you want to help ensure the state of Maine pays attention to the unique cognitive, social-emotional, and physical needs of our 10-14 year olds? If yes, please join us today!
Undergraduate Student Membership ($5.00)
1st Year Teacher/1st Year Member ($15.00)
Individual Membership ($20.00)
Institutional Membership ($95.00)
International Membership ($30.00)
International Institutional ($120.00)
Contact Wally Alexander: firstname.lastname@example.org