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Monday, March 25, 2019

Marketing Chapter and State Excellence Quickly and Easily

Do your members know about exciting programs presented throughout the state? Do you recognize achievements of members even on the chapter level?

 One way to increase the awareness of the excellence of your DKG programs and members is by sending news via mass email programs. These messages should be brief, colorful, and positive. Send them more often than your newsletter and use them as a way to honor members, recognize and share excellent programs, and remind readers of opportunities and deadlines. When you meet a prospective member, give her your card, chat with her and ask her to join your email list.

Communicate regularly. Don’t let your successes be secrets. Here’s an example:

To learn more about email distribution programs, revisit this C&M blog

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Professional Development that Fits the Modern Context

When I founded DKG in 1929, the status of women teachers needed attention. Specifically, teachers were underpaid (some things, unfortunately, never change!) and subject to serious limitations on their academic freedom and job security.  They really served at the whim of local administrators and school boards, who dictated their dress and hairstyles, discriminated based on age (over 40? A younger, less expensive teacher could be found to take your place), and dismissed educators for “moral” issues ranging from infrequent church attendance or failure to participate in a local initiative to marriage and pregnancy. Within such a context, support for professional growth and development was certainly not a focus, and DKG’s Purpose 6— To stimulate the personal and professional growth of members and to encourage their participation in appropriate programs of action—took on particularly poignant meaning as I worked to develop an organization that would advance the issues of women educators.

Now, some 80 years later, I can proudly point to a wide variety of programs and efforts that advance Purpose 6—including the upcoming international conferences organized around key educational themes. In particular, as I consider the leadership training opportunities that will be provided to incoming officers and leaders, I am pleased to see an evolution in the delivery of such training from “one shot” of what more recently has been known as “sit and get” to a more extended and interactive format.
  •  By developing pre-training and post-training activities, those providing the on-site training will be able to engage their learners over time, thereby allowing more opportunity for the content to be absorbed and mastered.
  •  By bringing leaders from across the Society together in Iowa, those leading the training will enable greater networking among learners and will have a chance to group participants more meaningfully by the size of their state organizations, membership issues, and other factors that are more meaningful than region.
  •  By bringing leaders from Latin America, Japan, and Europe to sessions tailored to their specific needs and issues, those providing the training will break the “one size fits all” mindset and demonstrate acceptance of the varied DKG experiences.
Good solutions fit their contexts. Just as the development of DKG in 1929 fit the needs of women educators at that time, so too, the evolution of the way we do professional development in DKG must evolve to fit the needs of women educators today. Such evolution is what keeps us forward moving ever.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Expansion Committee Goals

Based on amendments approved at the 2018 International Convention, this biennium’s Expansion Committee has flexibility in determining its goals.  What could be more exciting than wide-open options? The focus for the next two years will be expansion in the broadest sense.  The committee will be developing ideas and materials to expand membership and to create new chapters within existing state organizations.  We plan to get ideas and information from members, chapters, and state organizations to help us in our work.  The committee’s specific goals this biennium include:

1.C.2. Communicate the value of membership 

The expansion committee will collaborate together with: 

1) other international committees and 
2) state organizations and chapters to develop: 

  • strategies that emphasize the value of being a member; including but not limited to social media, pod casts and other marketing resources 
  • methods and materials for state organizations and chapters to utilize in recruiting and retaining members 

2.C.1. Promote diversity in membership selection 

The expansion committee will collaborate together with: 

1) other international committees and 
2) state organizations and chapters to build diversity around: 

  • Geographical concentrations 
  •  Diversity of educators within a chapter (ie..elementary, secondary, specialists, trainers, etc...) 
  • Diversity of ethnicity and generations 

3.C.2. Empower members to take leadership roles 

The expansion committee will collaborate together with: 

1) other international committees and 
2) state organizations and chapters to develop active leadership by promoting: 

  •   Mentoring/shadowing 
  •  Growing leadership (ie...presenting a workshop, participating in local and/or international seminars) 
  •  Succession planning 

4.A.1. Identify barriers within the Society’s culture 

The expansion committee will collaborate together with: 

1) other international committees and 
2) state organizations and chapters  

 to address three identified barriers to create maintain, and expand human resources:  

  • Reluctance to invite educators to become members 
  • Not understanding the comprehensive value of membership 
  • Retention of members 

Expect the upcoming 2019 International Conferences to be innovative and exciting!

Expect the upcoming 2019 International Conferences to be innovative and exciting! 
Everyone can find their interest at one of these conferences. 

•    In Asheville, North Carolina, you have the opportunity to enhance DKG through the Arts and Humanities.  Potential topics include: storytelling, books, music, writing, and, of course, art work.
•    Leadership will be the topic for Des Moines, Iowa.  As Arizona State Organization Treasurer, I’m looking forward to the state organization treasurer training and strategizing future plans with my state organization president and state organization membership chairman.  The rest of the conference, aimed to help develop that leadership, will be amazing! 
•    Technology is our future and the Costa Mesa; California Conference will set the pace.  How can we take DKG into the vast computer age?  Latin Americans and Japanese will have a Leadership Pre-conference state organization treasurer training just for them. 
•    Now, who wouldn’t want to attend a conference in Reykjavik, Iceland?  DKG has always promoted interests in Professional Research and Practices.  Come explore more!  State organization treasurers will receive as part of the pre-conference.
•    Finally, Global Awareness is the topic in Mashantucket, Connecticut.  Subjects are Native American issues, integration, United Nations, the Holocaust, and children’s peace artwork.  How can DKG fit into this awareness?

At every conference, there will be a workshop by the International Finance Committee members entitled Dues is NOT a four-letter word.  Positive thinking brings positive change to any situation. Learn about the many positive benefits as a result of the new dues process. Time will be allowed for networking with others about the process or other financial related topics.
Please check-out the International Conferences and choose the one that interests you!  Meet new people, make new networks, and strengthen Delta Kappa Gamma!

Thursday, March 7, 2019

When members have difficulty with change, it may help to consider the difference between things that are core and those that are peripheral. For example, the move from a strictly regional focus has raised concerns about some traditions such as presidents’ parades, flag ceremonies, state pictures, and the like. In many cases, these practices are peripheral to the core purposes for which they were originally established—and developing new traditions to meet these core purposes is a real possibility!
The admiration of our beautiful leaders dressed in their finery is enjoyable—but the core issue is honoring these women. This can be accomplished in a myriad of ways, many of which may be more palatable because they eliminate the need for “rehearsals” and, sometimes, the temptation to engage in fashion judgments!
The fluttering of flags may be inspiring, but again the core issue is recognizing the many state organizations that make up DKG. This can be accomplished in myriad ways that may be more practical in use of precious time at gatherings and transport/handling of flags themselves.
Rounding up members of the state organization who are in attendance for a photo may help to create a nice piece of memorabilia and/or history, but these core outcomes can be accomplished in myriad ways, particularly with the availability of digital cameras. In fact, photography at conferences and conventions is one of the best examples of a “new tradition”—members taking pictures at their own convenience for sharing and printing as desired—replacing an “old tradition”—members rushing to get to a single session group shot and paying for prints that might or might not be available quickly.
I am not saying, of course, that all traditions should be set aside. Rather, I hope that as members consider changes and the evolution of “new” traditions, they will take time to unearth the core reasons for the old. Given the creativity and energy of our members, developing new traditions to honor core purposes will certainly keep us forward moving ever.

Monday, March 4, 2019

One Voice Matters

The DKG US Forum presents information to DKG members on legislative issues and actions that affect women, children and education so that they can make informed decisions. Members need to realize that their voice does matter and influence legislation and future results. We need to remember that through our voices and actions we can make a difference.

You are a voter.
You as a local constituent have the power to influence the U.S. Congress well beyond lobbyists for the simple reason that you can vote. You are a representative to a congressional district, and your voice does influence your legislator. 

The best bet is to meet with legislators at their local offices.
Congressional staffers can tell you that one powerful conversation from a constituent can convince them to take action.  You are more likely to have a face-to-face meeting with your legislator when they are in their home district offices. Follow up with phone calls and letters. Knowing that there are advocates in their districts will lead congressional members to follow up with their own research and seek to find a common ground.

Share your passion and concern.
You do not need to be an expert public speaker or political activist to advocate for the change you support. You do need to have an understanding of the issues.  It is important to know the pros and cons and to be factual and simplistic in conveying your concerns.  Don’t be afraid to ask if they would be willing to support a specific proposal, vote yes (or no) for a certain bill or amendment, or champion a specific issue.  Leave materials summarizing the purpose of your visit along with your contact information.

Follow up on your visitation.  
After you leave, you may think of an additional point or find relevant information to support your argument. Continue keep in touch throughout the legislative session. Remind them of your issues and ask about progress on specific bills.

Connect with your legislator via social media.       
Today many legislators communicate via social media (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.). Connect by following them, sending them direct messages, or posting to their sites. These connections help to personalize the relationship and build rapport.

Get involved.
Your voice and opinions are powerful and impactful. When you take action, you will make a difference and influence others.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
-Margaret Mead

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