Student Program Handbook for Local Leaders

Document Sample
Student Program Handbook for Local Leaders Powered By Docstoc
					Student Program Handbook for Local Leaders

You have chosen to take charge of your profession by becoming an active leader in your local
PSEA/NEA Student Program chapter.

The NEA Student Program (NEA-SP) is the largest and most influential student group for future
educators. It was formed in 1982 by the NEA Board of Directors when Student NEA (SNEA)
merged with the National Education Association (NEA). The Student Program aims at
developing quality teachers prepared to deal with today's diverse student population and also
to prepare informed leaders who will move themselves, the profession, and the Association

The local chapter of Student PSEA is the most important and critical level of all. It is here that
you get to reap the benefits of being a Student Program member by receiving publications and
attending meetings and workshops aimed at developing a professional educator. If the local
chapter members do not see the benefits they are receiving at this level, it is almost
impossible to motivate them to pursue other levels or positions.

Motivating, stimulating, and involving students who have 1001 other things going on is a
tremendous task. This handbook is designed to help you as a local leader make your chapter
and its members the best they can be. Take time to read this information and you will be able
to operate with greater confidence and ease. Your local success will lead to state success, and
state success will ensure national success! Enjoy what you do, and Good Luck!

From the NEAIS-NEA merger agreement

NEA Mission Statement


PSEA Mission Statement


Table of Contents

      What Makes A Leader?
      Ten Steps to a Working Local
      Elections and Appointments
      Member Benefits
      Ways to Increase Membership
      Ideas! Ideas! Ideas!
      Conduct An Effective Meeting
      Sample Guide for Planning a Business Meeting Agenda
      Sample Letter of Welcome to Education Majors
      Parliamentary Procedure
What Makes A Leader?


IN ORDER to provide opportunities for professional development and leadership training, the
NEA will:

       provide information to develop skills necessary to promote active participation in
       strengthening teacher education programs
       conduct NEA-sponsored leadership training to provide knowledge of the Association, its
       activities and operations at the local, state, and national levels
       provide opportunities for the interaction of student and active members in cooperative
       increase student visibility and participation at local, state, and national levels
       develop multicultural awareness

IN ORDER to advocate effectively at all levels for its members, the NEA will:

       foster implementation of the Student Program goals and objectives at the local, state,
       and national levels
       promote the interaction of Student members with professional and retired members in
       cooperative activities at all levels
       voice student concerns

IN ORDER to monitor national issues that impact students, the NEA will:

       encourage Student members to be politically active
       accumulate and disseminate information that serves as a resource for its members
       monitor education reform

IN ORDER to educate the pre-professional to the value of NEA membership, the NEA will:

       provide a holistic view of NEA as a national organization, including its history and
       encourage NEA membership as teachers
       develop the attitudes and promote the value of collective action
       develop awareness of member benefits and affiliate services
Ten Steps to a Working Local

Step 1 - Form a Steering Committee

Find a group of students who share your ideas about the need to start a professional
organization for education majors. Contacts may be friends, classmates, or other club
members. This team needs to have enthusiasm, drive, and a commitment to make things
happen. It is important that you know as much as possible about the PSEA/NEA Student
Program in advance so you may answer questions and deal with facts. Contact your state
student organizer for help.

Step 2 - Enlist the Support of Key People

Once you have a steering committee, enlist the support of some key people. Campus
bureaucracy and protocol sometimes necessitates the involvement of certain people or groups
in order to get a new organization off the ground. The college president, the dean of the
college of education, dean of students, the student Government Association, and other
student leaders are some people to contact to get things rolling.

Talk to college faculty, read the campus paper, and even attend other campus meetings to find
out who can really help you. When you find out who you need to contact, make an
appointment and go see them. Take a friend along. Find out about funding, facilities, campus
recognition, and any other suggestions they may have. After the meeting, drop a thank you
note to them and maybe try a follow-up later in the year.

Step 3 - Select an Advisor

The most important step to ensure that the program you are starting will continue to exist is
to find an advisor. An advisor provides an essential link between the organization and the
college/university, offers guidance and expertise, uses his/her contacts to enable program
growth, and ensures continuity.

You need an advisor with energy, enthusiasm, good student rapport, one who is willing to
spend some time with the organization, who has a commitment to teacher education, and
who is a member of the PSEA/NEA. If a local advisor isn't a member, encourage him/her to
apply for a subscriber's membership. Contact your state association for the information.

Step 4 - Steering Committee Meeting

Now you are ready for the steering committee to meet. The group of students you contacted,
your advisor, some of the key people you talked with, and, if possible, a State Association
representative can now come together and discuss the opportunities available by having a
PSEA/NEA chapter. An Association representative would be especially valuable at this stage to
answer questions and give ideas and pointers from an association perspective.
At this meeting, you need to decide on your organizational plan and prepare for your first
chapter meeting. You will need to provide a program, a publicity campaign, and refreshments
for the chapter meeting. Brainstorm and discuss the nature and expected outcomes of having
a Student Program chapter on campus.

Step 5 - Chapter Meeting

Before this meeting takes place, there needs to be plenty of advance publicity. Remember, this
is something new and will take some getting used to. Select a time and date that allows most
to attend. Have an interesting, relevant, exciting topic and don't meet too long. Be sure to
have Student Program brochures on hand along with membership forms.

Set the date for the next meeting. Then, pass around a sign-up sheet for the names and
addresses of those present. Be sure to leave those in attendance with the thought that being a
part of their PSEA/NEA Student Program chapter will be a rewarding experience for them.

Step 6 - Membership Collection Spot

After you have passed out the membership forms at the first chapter meeting, you will need to
have a designated collection spot for the payment and forms. This spot should be well
publicized, centrally located, open most of the time, and in a place where someone can keep
an eye on it.

If someone has a form but no place to take it, they won't turn in the form. The sooner
someone joins, the sooner they will begin to receive the publications and reap the benefits of

Step 7 - Personal Contact Follow-up

It is important at this early stage to contact those who attended the first chapter meeting and
thank them for their interest and attendance. Make everyone feel important and needed. Use
a personal note or a short phone call rather than a form letter.

Use the list you passed around at the first meeting to contact everyone, and while you're
talking to the potential members, remind them of the next meeting. Ask them what they
thought about the program and what can be improved. Involve members at an early stage.
This early follow-up is a good way to do that.

Step 8 - Continue Membership Promotion

Although fall and spring are the "peak seasons" for membership recruitment, MEMBERSHIP
at each meeting, and efforts to attract new members should be constant. Go to education
classrooms, send letters to education majors, place an ad in the campus paper. Any type of
visibility is good. Your state and national programs can help you with ideas and materials. Use

Step 9 - Continue Membership Promotion

After the initial meeting, your steering committee, advisor, and an Association representative
need to get together to evaluate the first meeting.

Decide what worked, what didn't, and why. Set up a committee structure. Decide what officers
are needed and prepare for an election. Propose local dues and prepare a constitution for
adoption. Assistance with Constitution development is also available from your state office.

Step 10 - Plan Year's Activities

Your elected leaders, committee chairs, and your advisor then should plan your program for
the remainder of the year. Set membership goals, plan a membership drive, identify possible
programs, set meeting dates, plan for state activities, plan for national activities, and develop a

Remember to always work within your potential and set realistic goals. Be willing to ask for
help and use your state officers and advisors because they are there to help you.
National Student Representation - Elections and Appointments

On the national level, student members are represented through:

       an Advisory Committee of Student members composed of ten members appointed by
       the NEA president. This Advisory Committee makes recommendations to the NEA
       Board of Directors, deals with changes affecting the Student Program, and monitors the
       program's services and delivery system.

       nationally elected Student Chairperson working full time out of the NEA Headquarters
       in Washington, D.C. coordinates the activities of the Advisory Committee and works
       with members to provide NEA visibility on campuses and organize the future NEA active

       three students elected to the NEA Board of Directors, one of the governing bodies of
       the NEA. This board created the Student Program and presently deals with
       modifications of the program. The board is an all-inclusive decision-making body that
       deals with educational and Association issues.

       three students elected to the NEA Resolutions Committee. The Resolutions Committee
       is the body which develops position guidelines to direct NEA policy. From childcare to
       world peace, one will find a resolution stating NEA's position.

       membership on seven NEA standing committees and the Women's Caucus. These
       standing committees deal with special areas of vital concern to the NEA membership.
       The Committee on Professional Standards and Practice, Legislative, Women's Concerns,
       and Human and Civil Rights Committees are just some of the standing committees
       which deal with areas of specific concern and make recommendations to the NEA
       Board. These positions are also filled by presidential appointments.

       elected delegates to the NEA Representative Assembly. The NEA Representative
       Assembly is the largest democratic body in the world. It has the greatest power and can
       direct the NEA's resources in several areas, elect national officers and change the
       Association's constitution, resolutions, policies, and legislative agenda.

All of these positions are elected or appointed annually. You may wish to consider one of these
positions yourself! Contact your state student organizer or your state student
Chairperson/President for more information.


There are many benefits of being a part of the PSEA/NEA Student Program, some more
tangible than others, but all are true assets to your professional development.
Leadership training

Although it differs from state to state, many states will conduct leadership training for its
student leaders. This training would include such things as communication skills, time
management, group management skills, organizing ideas, newsletter publication, and many
other things. Check with your state student organizer or consultant to find out how to get in
on the action!

Professional workshops

Within your state, there are many people who are trained to do workshops. From stress
management to interviewing skills and everything in between, one will find highly energetic,
informed, and concerned individuals who would be happy to do a workshop on your campus.
Call your state office to find out what workshops are available.


The PSEA Voice, NEA Today, and Tomorrow's Teachers are available to you and your members.
You may also want to consider starting your own local newsletter! People like to see their
names in print!

Legal Services

Of course, the PSEA/NEA provides $1 million in professional liability coverage and offers other
legal services as well (such as will writing, consulting, etc.). You can find out more about the
legal programs by requesting brochures from your state headquarters.

Technical Support and Assistance

If you've got a great idea but need some help to pull it off--maybe a great membership drive or
local workshop--you've got a lot of resources available. First, check with your state organizer
who can connect you with the teacher local in your area or the regional UniServ director. Call
your state president and ask for support. Open up and maintain communications with your
state student organizer. Remember, if you don't ask, you never know what they might say!

Organizing Projects

Each year, NEA works with targeted states or institutions in organizing projects. Whether it is a
rebate or specific action plan, resources are, in most cases, available to help you organize.
States are always looking for new members. The Student Program truly is an investment in the
future. Call the state headquarters to talk to your state student organizer to help in
membership recruitment and program planning.

Fliers, calendars, handbooks, bookmarks, notebooks--so many things are available for member
use. If you need materials, or a listing of what sort of things are available in your state, check
with your state headquarters!

Member Benefits

You can receive various consumer guides, credit cards, access to Hertz programs, life
insurance, Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance, various financial programs,
magazine subscriptions, and many other things through the Members Benefits office. Check
out the Member Benefits section on PSEA’s website at or on NEA’s website at

First Year Teacher-Student Dues Rebate

The first year you teach and join NEA you can apply for a rebate of $10, for each year you were
a student member.

Legislation and Lobbying

Nationally and within your state, NEA is one of the most powerful lobbying organizations.
Every day during the legislative session, you can be sure that Association representatives are
suppporting pro-education legislation and working to defeat anti-education legislation. Your
state association is very active in all matters concerning education reform and teacher
certification. You can and should be a part of this process, and you need to involve others on
your campus as well. Call your state government relations director or UniServ Director and ask
how you can help!
Ways to Increase Membership

Membership growth does not just happen. Members themselves must work to increase the
number in their organization.

The membership year is September 1 through August 31. Plan a substantial year long
membership drive that continues your campaign through the second semester. Your total
state membership as of March 15 determines the number of student delegates your state is
entitled to elect to represent you at the annual NEA Representative Assembly.

As you speak to fellow students about joining the PSEA/NEA Student Program, here are a few
Do's and Don'ts to keep in mind.

A few selling points specifically for the freshman, or sophomore student:

       You will get all your dues returned to you the first year you begin teaching. Network
       with others in education.

       Learn more about your future profession.

       The PSEA/NEA Student Program is made up of thousands of college students who are
       preparing to become teachers.

       Become a member of a professional organization.

       Your local is affiliated with the State Association and the NEA.

       Your rights can be defended.

       If you are observing or tutoring in a class, PSEA/NEA liability insurance protects you
       against legal charges. You are covered by this $1,000,000 liability insurance policy every
       time you work with students in any capacity as part of your preparation program.

       By joining the PSEA/NEA Student Program, you are eligible for a number of members

       You can have fun.

       The local chapter sponsors social activities throughout the year.

       You have the opportunity to attend workshops and gain professional experiences.

       The PSEA/NEA Student Program offers its members many opportunities to get involved
       and earn local, state, or national recognition.
Ideas! Ideas! Ideas!

Freshman Orientation - Attend all freshman and transfer orientation sessions and speak briefly
about the Student Program. Make arrangements to allow the State Student local members to
serve as campus guides. Members recruited as freshman can give four years of continued
support to your local chapter.

Obtain a computer list of education majors and:

   Write a letter to each education major from the president and advisor of the chapter
   welcoming them to the campus and inviting them to join.
   (See sample letter in Appendix C.)
   Call each one telling them you hope he/she will join; use the one-on-one approach.
   Use a buddy system; each member is assigned a freshman to contact.
   Contact each education faculty member and encourage help in recruiting membership. Ask
   if someone can speak to their classes about the Student Program. Put meeting notices on
   the blackboard.

It is important to let students know about the PSEA/NEA Student Program as soon as possible.
Some chapters have successfully tried the following:

   During registration, set up information booths, show a slide presentation, distribute an
   orientation help guide to freshman.
   Big Brother/Big Sister for freshman.
   Special parties for newcomers-ice cream socials, pizza, and the like. Financial assistance
   may be available through your state organizer’s office.
   Bulletin board displays or flyers. This may spark interest among members and non-
   members. Campus programs on hot topics - include membership promotion at closure.
   Membership events, such as meetings featuring guest speakers. Have each member bring
   one potential member. A few days later contact each potential member about joining.
   Invite all education students to the state convention; sell memberships to those who wish
   to attend.
   Arrange for a local, state, or national association leader to visit education classes. During
   the visit, set up a membership table in the education building. Have a "bring a friend"
   Set up displays in the student center, cafeteria or education department. Let everyone
   know what the student program is about!
   Take advantage of intra-campus mail. Put an eye-catching notice of the meeting in boxes.
   Send E-mail to education majors on campus, or post information on an electronic bulletin
   Have student leaders stand at the doors of the education building during the first week of
   classes asking the question, 'Have you joined the PSEA/NEA Student Program?"
Make a large banner that can be attached to the front of the education building that says,
"Join the PSEA/NEA Student Program Today!" This sign can be used each quarter or
semester. Contact your state organizer if you need assistance.
At any function for education majors, give
out information and enrollment forms. Be
                                                 TEACH ME
sure to tell them about discounts and
special services to members.                     There is a child
Stuff membership packets with "freebies."        And he says, “Teach me.”
Contact local pizza parlors and fast food        The wondering, curious, discovering child…
restaurants for discount coupons; collect        Awed at the beauty, the rhythm, the process.
pencils, key chains, and tablets from local      Teach me to know
banks, insurance agencies, and other             How and where is my world, and why am I me,
businesses and then give them to                 Where do I end and others begin.
members as they join.
                                                  There is a youth
Target secondary and special education           And he says, “Teach me.”
students. State Student Programs are not         The reaching, unfolding, surging youth.
just for elementary educators.                   Teach me to understand.
Plan a public relations program to tell          What and why is the universe,
students about PSEA/NEA Student                  What is my part of the joy and the toil,
Program educational issues.                      How do I join with all the others?
                                                 Teach me.
Invite prospective members to the first
meeting and talk informally about the            There is a man
organization. Display the chapter                And he says, “Teach me.”
scrapbook and serve refreshments at the          The seeking, searching, uncertain man.
close of the meeting.                            Teach me to question, to probe and to find.
Saturate the campus with information -           Teach me so that
put notes in mailboxes, have officers visit      When a child comes forth
                                                 I will know what to do when he says,
classes to make announcements, target
                                                 “Teach me.”
dorms, and have an exciting first meeting.
Use both campus and department
newsletters for PSEA/NEA State Student                - Carol B. Epstein
Send the prospective education major a
letter before school begins in the name of the association.
Conduct An Effective Meeting!

      Always start on time. Call the meeting to order officially at the scheduled starting time,
      and get right to the agenda.

      Keep oral reports brief. Ask that the treasurer, committee chairperson, etc., to prepare
      written reports which can be duplicated and distributed either by mail or as members
      arrive. Limit oral reports to any recommendations for action, the main reason(s) for the
      action, and questions and answers for clarification.

      Stick to the agenda, and keep the meeting on target. Speakers who wander from the
      current topic should be called to order by the Chair and reminded to limit their remarks
      to the subject under consideration.

      Make use of Unanimous Consent. Instead of calling for a vote on a routine or non-
      controversial motion, the Chair can frequently save time by declaring that unless there
      is an objection, the action will be considered taken.


      A. Chair: "If there is no objection, the Treasurer's report will be received and filed for the
      auditor (pause). Hearing no objection, the Chair rules that the Treasurer's report has
      been received and will be filed."

      B. Chair: "Unless there is objection, the motion to thank the hospitality committee for
      today's refreshments will be deemed carried ... (pause). Since there is no objection, the
      Chair rules that the motion of thanks to the Hospitality Committee has been carried by
      Unanimous Consent."

      (Of course, if anyone does raise an objection, the question must be put to a vote.)

      Be fair and impartial. When a controversial issue is under debate, try to can upon
      proponents and opponents of the motion alternately. (If you don't know which side
      people are on, ask. "Our last speaker spoke in favor of the motion. Would anyone like
      to speak against it?") Give first opportunity to those who have not yet spoken on the

      Never allow a debate to degenerate into a free-for-all. Insist that all speakers wait to
      be recognized by the Chair before speaking (unless someone is raising a privileged
      motion that may interrupt discussion) and require that they direct their remarks to the
      Chair, not to each other.
Help members handle meeting business efficiency. If you must rule something out of
order, tactfully explain why and, if possible, also explain how he/she can accomplish his

Encourage brevity. If members insist on making long-winded speeches, appoint a
timekeeper and announce that unless the group objects, the Chair will require that all
speakers limit their remarks to three minutes. The group will usually accept the limits
gratefully, and you'll be amazed at how succinct speakers will become.

Remain impartial. As president, you are entitled to present recommendations during
your report and on important issues. You may not make or second motions while you
are presiding. If you feel that you must speak on a particular motion, hand the gavel to
your vice-president, and don't resume the chair until the issue has been decided. In the
interest of maintaining an image of impartiality you should vote only on those
important questions (a) where your vote will either make a tie (thus defeating the
motion) or break a tie (thus passing the motion) or (b) when you feel you must let your
constituents know your position.

Adjourn on time. If an adjournment time has been printed on the agenda, you should
adjourn by the stated hour. No one likes a meeting that seems to) drag on forever. As
adjournment time draws near, it's perfectly legitimate for you to point out which items
must be handled before adjournment, and ask if the group will vote to extend the
meeting. Usually, if the remaining items really are important, the group will grant the
extension. Finally, make it a lively meeting, one which those who attend get a 'tingle" at
least twice.
Appendix B: Sample Guide for Planning a Business Meeting Agenda

Name of Organization Date


   I.   Agenda
  II.   Call to Order
 III.   Adoption of agenda
 IV.    Approval of minutes
  V.    Reports of officers
 VI.    Reports of committees
VII.    Old business
VIII.   New business
 IX.    Announcements
  X.    Adjournment

(subheadings may be added where necessary)

NOTE: An agenda listing committee reports, pending and special-ordered business should be
compiled before the meeting and publicized widely if possible.

Refer to parliamentary procedures for local association presidents for details of a business
Appendix C: Sample Letter of Welcome to Education Majors – Especially Freshmen or

Dear (Education Major),

Welcome to [School Name]! In just a few days, you will join other students who are preparing
to become teachers in the College of Education. As a student in Education, you are invited to
join the preprofessional association – Student PSEA (Pennsylvania State Education Association
– an affiliate of the National Education Association-Student Program (NEA-SP). Students
constantly work through the Student Program to improve the teacher education program on

We are a busy association with big plans for the coming year. One of our most important
responsibilities this year will be to keep you informed about how our plans are being carried
out. During registration, Student PSEA will have a booth in the building. Be sure to stop and let
the representative know about your special interests so they can keep informed of your ideas
and your concerns. Education courses are not a prerequisite to becoming a member. You can
take a part, even if it is a small part, in working with us toward the improvement of education.

We encourage you to ask questions of us as you go through your education courses. We will
do everything we can to see that your college years are as rewarding for you as we can make
them. Enclosed you will find a membership form. We welcome your consideration.

Sincerely yours,

Your Name, President

Your Local Association


P. S. Be sure to ask us about the fun we have-at socials, workshops, conferences, and the like.
Simple Parliamentary Procedure for Local Leaders

The basic reason for having any standard procedure is to dispose of the business before the
assembly quickly, efficiently, and justly. The basic theses of parliamentary procedure are:

1. Only one subject may be discussed at one time. 2. Every member of the assembly has equal
rights. 3. Each issue presented is entitled to free debate.


Meeting called to order

1. The President calls the meeting to order and makes the opening remarks, "The meeting will
come to order." (opening remarks)

Reading and approval of minutes

1. Secretary, seated by the President, stands to read/or pass out copies of the minutes.

2. Corrections to minutes are requested.

3. No motion is needed for approval of the minutes.

Report of officers

1.No motion is needed for the adoption of the Treasurer's report unless it is audited.

Report of committees

1. Committee chairpersons who are to report should be in the front.

2. No motion is needed for adoption of committee reports unless recommendations for
association action are made.

Committee recommendations for action

1. Motion is usually made by the Chairperson, seconded by the committee.


1. Any old business must be dealt with.

2. Any new business is attended to.

1. Anyone wishing to make an announcement should be moved to the front.


1. Chairperson automatically adjourns a meeting, except when there is unfinished business, in
which case a motion is needed.


Motion: A formal proposal that the assembly take a certain action; the method whereby the
business is presented to the entire assembly. FORM: Mr./Ms. Chairperson, I move that.

Personal Privilege:

A point relating to some obstacle to the proper conduct of the meeting or some matter of
immediate and universal interest to the delegates is a matter of precedence. For example, the
air conditioning may have stopped and a delegate wants this problem rectified immediately.
Also, a delegate may wish to recognize a visitor or accomplishment. FORM: Mr. /Ms.
Chairperson, point of personal Privilege.

Point of information: An inquiry as to the content or intent of the question before the
assembly is not a speech on the substance of the question and is in order as a matter of
precedence. Delegates do not have to vote on something they don't understand. However, it is
an abuse to ask a rhetorical question, or a hostile question, which is designed only to damage
the issue rather than clarify it before the vote is taken. FORM: Mr. /Ms. Chairperson, point of

Point of order: A delegate may always require adherence to the rules. But a point of order is
not an opportunity to speak on the substance of the question. A delegate who honestly
believes that a speaker, or a ruling of the chairperson, is out of order should obtain
recognition, as a matter of precedence, and state specifically which rule is being violated. The
chairperson will immediately respond and will have the advice of the parliamentarian in doing
so. All questions are directed to the Chair; only he/she may request the assistance of the
parliamentarian. The parliamentarian shall advise the chairperson or address the assembly at
the request of the chairperson. If a delegate is unhappy with the ruling of the Chair, he/she
may appeal only to the assembly. FORM: Mr./Ms. Chairperson, point of order.

Previous Question: At any time after progress in debate, two thirds of the delegates may close
debate. Debate may be closed only after a motion and vote of the delegates. FORM: Mr./Ms.
Chairperson, I move the previous question.
Reconsider. When a question has been once adopted, rejected or suppressed, it cannot be
again considered during that session except by a motion to "reconsider the vote" on the
question. This motion can only be made by one who voted on the prevailing side, and on the
day the vote was taken which it is proposed, or on the next succeeding day. A motion to
reconsider a vote on the debatable question opens to debate the entire merits of the original
motion. If the question to be considered is un-debatable, then reconsideration is un-
debatable. FORM: Mr./Ms. Chairperson, I move to reconsider the vote by which the motion to
was passed earlier in the meeting. (Needs a second)