When Temple Grandin came to our State Convention, she talked with me an hour about her ideas for education. She said students need to go outside and examine grass before they study photosynthesis. She advocated learning by doing first with formal education after.
This idea of learning by doing was also presented to us at our 2018 Leadership Conference by newly graduated education student, Julia Campfield. She plans to give her students problems to solve before she teaches the formal mathematical concept. For example, students might work through several probability problems before she introduces them to the concept. (By the way, Julia has started her first teaching job in St. Louis, MO and joined a DKG Chapter there!)
Isn't learning to lead pretty much the same as learning anything else? You have some idea of what it means to lead, but you don't really have all the details so you jump in with your excitement and your set of knowledge, and you start out leading. As you go along leading, you learn and grow your leadership style--all the while receiving praise and wisdom from older leaders. Isn't this what our founder Dr. Annie Webb Blanton had in mind all along?
This idea of learning to lead by leading is quite relevant since members at the 2018 International Convention voted overwhelmingly to invite college education students to join Delta Kappa Gamma International. If the collegiate member works in education after her graduation, she will become a full member and pay active dues. If she chooses to work in a field other than education, her membership is dropped. But either way, we get a few years of her talents to move us forward and most likely some other members who will stay with us.
I actually had a college student at MSU Denver who wanted to join DKG. She had gotten all available college credits in high school and entered college as a junior. She was in my honors class, taking all honors classes, and already doing her observations in elementary school, excited about how great her cooperating teacher was and how fun the students were and creating new ways to help them learn.
I would have loved to have had her in my chapter because she would have taken on any leadership role the same way she approached her classes--always doing her best, always way ahead. Our new collegiate members are not allowed to hold office except for parliamentarian, but imagine if a girl like this took over one of your chapter committees and made it go, go, go! These young women are already doing a million things so giving them a place to lead will really grow them professionally, and most of them will bring in a half dozen more just like them with new ideas and lots of energy.
Inviting college education students to membership is a new idea and a new way to support young educators. It's a way to let them learn as they lead. Let's all visit colleges, and invite these young women to join us as we promote personal and professional growth of women educators and excellence in education!