Updated: Aug 3, 2018
Hello Virginia Technology and Engineering Educators!
My name is Danielle Meyer and I am here to serve you and our wonderful profession the best I can in the short time I have as President!
In our field of technology and engineering many of us are our own team. Personally, I am the only one of my kind in my 9-12 high school that is composed of over 2,200 students. This poses a challenge that many of us face. We need to be the advocates for our classes, our students, and ourselves. We are the ones who need to order lab supplies, maintain the lab equipment, the computers, curriculum, field trips, after school programs, open lab time, and the list could go on and on—as I’m sure you are well aware of. It’s challenging to be just one person, when other subject areas are so large and have a strong support system.
This year we collected, as an association, a list of schools, teacher names, and email addresses to allow for statewide communication to encourage VTEEA membership and active communication with teachers and other professionals. There is strength in numbers—and communication is key!
Now, I am going to throw some numbers at you… The VTEEA Board of Directors is composed of 21 board members and 12 committee chairs. Currently, many board members also serve as committee chairs, meaning they have double the volunteer responsibilities—so big kudos to them for all of their dedication! Now, our conference registration data (past and present) shows consistent registration at about 130 attendees. The state-wide listserv that was compiled this year has approximately 1,300 names—meaning there are 1,300 technology and engineering teachers out there in our state and we have a mere 10% turnout rate. I want to thank each and every one of you who attended the 2018 conference for being part of this 10%. You all attended, because you love the field you are in and want to bring new ideas back to your classrooms to share with your students—why else would you willingly give up your time to attend in the middle of the summer?
We need more teachers like you to be part of our team. I am personally asking each and every one of you here today to consider being more involved—whether that be by hosting a professional development session at your school, participating within a committee, recruiting members, or running for an elected position.
If you have not yet been involved in a committee or board positions, I strongly encourage you to volunteer. Once again, we need more dedicated educators like you to be part of our team.
You don’t have to be the best at everything, you just need to be willing to put in the time and effort! Trust me, I am not amazing at everything I do; however, I am 110% willing to give something new a try—even if I don’t succeed. I have never put a conference program together—yet I tackled that and survived conference. I communicated with professionals in industry to obtain presenters tailed towards our field. I coordinated with hotel staff and the local community college. Had the opportunity to work side by side with my director. And never have I ever sent so many emails (let alone to 1,300 people); I thought my inbox was going to explode! I read those emails over and over because I was thinking, wow this isn’t just 20 people I’m sending this stuff to, this is the entire state… There are so many valuable experiences I gained this year that I would not have had without stepping outside my comfort zone. So, I ask you to please consider getting involved. We are educators for a reason—we like to learn! So, learn with me this year as we try new things. Much like our students, we may not be successful right away, but don’t worry, we will learn from our mistakes and continually improve!
I encourage you to reach out to me this school year and let me know how VTEEA can help support you. Our association is here for you. If there is something you would like to see, please let us know and we will do what we can to make that happen. I want us, Virginia Technology and Engineering Educators, to become a strong group of people willing to make change and take the path less traveled.